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Attracting Indian students for research

Photo: K. Ananthan

Hema Sharda. —

Indian post-graduate students opting for research and graduate students selecting universities abroad to pursue post-graduate degrees and diplomas is on the increase every year. Going with the tide, most students go to Europe or the United States or Canada for the same.

They do not consider Australia as a destination for higher education, laments Hema Sharda, Director, South Asia Relations, the University of Western Australia. She was on a visit to Coimbatore to scout for “best students to pursue higher education and research at the university and to offer them scholarships”.

Speaking to Amutha Kannan, she expressed disappointment that “Bright Indian students are still focussed on the United Kingdom and the U.S. for higher education and research. This is because they do not do much homework before they choose a destination for study”.

Bemoaning the fact that there is very less awareness about the G8 Universities and the kind of education and research facilities available in Australia, she says that Australia gets the maximum amount for research. “The Australia India Strategic Research Fund (AISRF) has a package of $20 million (commencing in 2006) of funding to be provided for collaborative research activities between Australia and India,” she says. She also adds that GRE and TOEFL are not required to qualify to study in Australia. Only the scores in IELTS are considered.

The M.Tech. programmes will be offered at partial scholarships to the extent of 50 per cent fee waiver based on the performance of the students. Research projects can be implemented at even 100 per cent fee waiver provided they meet the required standards. Australia is not only an ideal place for pursuing higher education, but also for pursuing a career in engineering. “Even though the recession has some impact, it has not affected the oil resources that are in abundance. Resource is booming. There is an immediate need for many engineers in civil, mechanical, chemical, and oil and gas sectors, Information Technology and also telecom,” she asserts.

Insisting that there is a fine line between internationalisation and commercialisation of education, she opines that students should be wise enough to select quality institutions abroad.

“It is not enough to study abroad. You should study in a quality institution,” she emphasises.

She says that students should get away from the MBA fad. Specialisation at the post-graduate level is very important. “I do not see any meaning in learning management without prior job experience. Taking up a job with specialisation in the domain area is what is important. After a certain time you should do MBA as a professional. This will be of maximum benefit,” she says. For details about the university and the scholarships students can visit www.international.uwa.edu.au/ and www.scholarships.uwa.edu.au/

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