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Calling Down Under

Professor Greg Jamieson of La Trobe University, Australia, was in India scouting for students



La Trobe Uinversity, Australia

The most astute lecturers, world-class research facilities, internationally-accredited degrees and a wide array of diasporas. That's what La Trobe University, Australia, claims to offer students planning to pursue their higher-education there. But these are the same things that are advertised by any other Australian university attracting the nouveau riche, from more-to-spend less-to-choose countries. Then what is it which makes La Trobe stand out? “Because La Trobe is the second university in Australia and only the 30th in the world to get its courses approved by the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst). Even now only 130 universities in the world have this unique feather added to their cap. This fact pertains only to the Law and Management Faculty of La Trobe. I am sure that every faculty of La Trobe has a story to tell, and that too a pleasant one,” retorts professor Greg Jamieson, Senior Lecturer, Director of MFA Programme, Faculty of Law and Management, School of Economics and Finance, La Trobe. Vaunted as it initially seemed, the university, indeed, has a standing among the top 25 universities in Arts and Humanities as well, according to 2005 rankings. The university was lambasted in 2005 for its steep 25 per cent fee hike, the first to do so, after education reforms were proposed by the Howard government. How will students from economically weaker backgrounds deal with such a hike in the future? “The fee hike for the academic year 2012-13 is zero per cent,” underscores the professor. “And even now, compared to other universities, La Trobe has no standing in the list of expensive universities,” he adds.

And what about the students who can't afford their education? Will their talent go waste? “Why should it go awry? If they have the talent, they are always welcome at La Trobe. In fact, we provide up to 50 per cent scholarship assistance to students based entirely on their merit,” asserts Jamieson.

Is he in India to enrol more full-fee paying students — international students usually pay the full fees as compared to Australian students, whose fees are subsidised by their government — as advised by the Australian Government's report on higher education? “I am here to scout talent. In fact, India, China and Indonesia are the places where most of our students come from. And as far as the issue of full fee-paying students goes, they are just the by-products of being a teacher,” says the academic. Gauging by his answers, Greg Jamieson definitely looks a man on a mission.

DHAIRYA MAHESHWARI

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