Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has announced that all 10 ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have agreed to participate in the Australia's New Colombo Plan from 2015, which encourages Australian students to study at universities in Southeast Asia.

A pilot phase of the plan began earlier this year in two ASEAN member nations of Indonesia and Singapore, along with two other Asian destinations of Japan and Hong Kong (China).

Under the Plan, more than 1,300 Australian students are being supported by their government to study in the Asia Pacific region and Indian Ocean, with over half of them heading to Southeast Asia.
Bishop said in a statement that the agreement of ASEAN member nations to the programme will help youths in her country have greater opportunities to learn from Southeast Asian neighbours. The Australian Government has decided to earmark 100 million AUD (nearly 93 million USD) for the programme.

From the 1950s to the mid-1980s, the original Colombo Plan brought tens of thousands of students from Southeast Asia to study in Australia.-VNA