New Colombo Plan Scholar to explore technology in Singapore

Bachelor of Science student Jackson Huang has been awarded a 2018 New Colombo Plan Scholarship by the Australian Government to further his studies on exchange in Singapore.

The New Colombo Plan (NCP) Scholarship is a signature initiative of the Australian Government and provides opportunities for talented Australian undergraduate students to live, study, and work in one of 40 Indo-Pacific locations by undertaking semester-based study and internships or mentorships.

Jackson first learned about the New Colombo Plan Scholarship from a friend who had been a Scholar several years prior.

“I was inspired by the incredible internship, travel and study experiences that he had in Asia as a NCP Scholar,” he said.

“Living in a country outside of Australia has always been something I've wanted to do, especially experiencing the cultural diversity of living in a different place. The NCP Scholarship offered the perfect opportunity to both study and work (through mentorship and internship networks), whilst providing financial support.”

With the New Colombo Plan Scholarship, he hopes to expand his computer science knowledge at the National University of Singapore.

“I'm very passionate about technology and innovation,” said Jackson, who is undertaking the Bachelor of Science with a major in Computer Science.

“I plan to develop my career as a software engineer by interning at a technology startup, potentially ViSenze – an artificial intelligence company that specialises in understanding the visual web.

“Apart from the computer science stuff, I hope to meet lots of new people, pick up a new hobby, and share my experiences online to hopefully show how great it is to study and work in the Indo-Pacific region. I also plan to travel with friends to different regions in the Indo-Pacific region.”

Jackson Huang (on left)

Jackson Huang (left) is excited to be going to Singapore as a New Colombo Plan Scholar.

Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said the NCP helped Scholars build connections with their peers, get real-life work experience and boost their employability in the graduate job market.

“The New Colombo Plan is a long-term investment in the future of Australia, creating a next generation workforce with an understanding of the Indo-Pacific region and experience of working with other cultures,” Senator Birmingham said.

Th Scholarships were announced by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on 27 November 2017, with the successful applicants invited to an awards ceremony hosted by the Minister for Foreign Affairs in Canberra.

"The New Colombo Plan is for Australian undergraduates and strives to reflect the diversity of our nation – students from our cities, regional and remote areas, and from a wide range of backgrounds,” said Ms Julie Bishop, the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Launched in 2014, more than 30,000 students will have been supported under the New Colombo Plan by 2018, including 434 who have been awarded scholarships.

The 2018 New Colombo Plan scholars will study in 20 host locations – including for the first time, Tonga, the Federated States of Micronesia and New Caledonia.

When he returns to Melbourne, Jackson intends to finish his Bachelor of Science degree and contribute to the Australian technology sector as a graduate.

“I hope to encourage other people from Melbourne and Victoria to take part in programs like the NCP, inspiring them to study abroad and try new experiences,” he said.