The original "Colombo Plan" was a cold war era multi-nation effort to combat the rise of communism, through education and scientific aid to developing nations. Australia funded students from developing nations at Australian universities. The Australian Government later again appropriated the "Colombo Plan" name for its own national program, in the form of the "New Colombo Plan" in 2013. The New Colombo Plan reverses the approach of the old, sending Australian university students to nations in the region, as part of their education.
Also, the Australian Academic Research Network (AARnet), in a submission to the Australian Government Draft National Strategy for International Education, proposed a “Digital Colombo Plan". This was similar in aim to the Virtual Colombo Plan, to provide high speed broadband to universities in developing countries in the Pacific to improve education, participially for on-line courses from Australia. The proposal was not adopted.
ReferencesCurtain, R. (2004). Information and communications technologies and development: Help or hindrance. AusAID Virtual Colombo Plan. Retrieved from http://unpan1.un.org/intradoc/groups/public/documents/APCITY/UNPAN014679.pdf
McCawley, P., Henry, D., & Zurstrassen, M. (2002, March). The Virtual Colombo Plan: Addressing the ICT Revolution. In Global Summit of Online Knowledge Networks Conference, Adelaide, Australia (pp. 4-5). Retrieved from http://unpan1.un.org/intradoc/groups/public/documents/apcity/unpan007799.pdf
Wolff, L. (2002). The African Virtual University: the challenge of higher education development in sub-Saharan Africa. TechKnowLogia, International Journal of Technologies for the Advancement of Knowledge and Learning, 4(2). Retrieved from http://www.techknowlogia.org/TKL_Articles/PDF/384.pdf