as a student or host

What is the New Colombo Plan?

The New Colombo Plan is a signature initiative of the Australian Government
which aims to lift knowledge of the Indo-Pacific in Australia by supporting Australian undergraduates to study
and undertake internships in the region.


Message from the Ambassador 


Welcome to the New Colombo Plan in Thailand website.

I am delighted that the Australian Government’s flagship New Colombo Plan program, now in its fourth year in Thailand, continues to deepen the bonds of friendship, understanding and opportunity between Australia and Thailand. With the New Colombo Plan, a signature $100 million initiative of the Australian Government, we are aiming to lift the knowledge of the Indo-Pacific in Australia by supporting Australian undergraduates to study and undertake internships in the region. This will ensure that young Australians have a much better knowledge and understanding of our close neighbours, including Thailand.

This year, Thailand will welcome over 400 Australian undergraduate students to study and undertake work placements throughout the country, across a range of fields and disciplines. This is an increase in annual student numbers since the program was launched in Thailand in 2015.

Australia and Thailand have longstanding education ties, underpinned by a good understanding of each other through our strong people-to-people links. Our education collaboration goes back to the early days of the original Colombo Plan scholarship program. Around 450 Thai students received Colombo Plan scholarships to study in Australia from 1954 to 1989. Many of those have occupied senior positions in government, in business and other sectors of society throughout the region.



New Colombo Plan students are impressive young ambassadors for Australia who will further strengthen the networks and collaboration between Australians and Thais. I am sure that our scholars’ experiences and the friendships and professional connections they make will not only shape their careers and personal experiences, but will also positively impact Australia’s engagement with Thailand for many years to come.

On this website you will find inspiring stories from current and past New Colombo Plan students sharing journeys across Thailand and encompassing a wide range of fields. Their enthusiasm and openness to new opportunities will reward them with valuable experiences including regional knowledge, cultural understanding, and above all, life-long friendships.

I would like to thank Thailand’s Ministry of Education, universities and education institutions, along with businesses in Thailand, for their support for the New Colombo Plan. It is only with your involvement that Australian students can have first-hand experience studying and working in Thailand.

I look forward to hearing from all of those involved in the New Colombo Plan – including students, interns, universities and businesses – about their experiences and the contribution the New Colombo Plan is making to further developing the already strong ties between Australia and Thailand.


Mr Allan McKinnon PSM, Australian Ambassador to Thailand



Learn about Thai universities

Thailand’s Higher education at both undergraduate and graduate levels are under the responsibility of the Office of the Higher Education Commission (OHEC) In the Ministry of Education. Currently, there are 79 public universities classified as 63 limited administration universities; 2 open admission universities; 14 autonomous universities including 2 Buddhist universities, 71 private higher education institutions and 19 Community Colleges.