New study areas in foreign universities are being pursued by Indian students : Deakin University, VC
Iain Martin, the president & vice chancellor of Deakin University, Australia, talks about augmenting engagement with India, the graduate employability & the global workforce.
1. With world class institutions developing within the country, do you see the number of Indian students seeking foreign education decline?
#This is rather an opportunity for collaboration and knowledge exchange that can leverage better research and innovation for our communities. We can develop partnerships to help students gain international experience for their future careers, and to collaborate with world-class teachers and researchers. Today, Indian students are embracing new study areas which are important for success in the jobs of the future and their development as global citizens.
2. What are your plans for research collaborations in India?
#Through the long-standing Deakin India Research Initiative (DIRI), there are efforts to bridge the innovation gap between industry and academia in areas such as composite materials, food security and biotech applications. Currently, DIRI involves approximately 100 projects with over 20 organisations – academic and corporate – across India.
In a recent development Deakin University has been awarded $1 million funding through the Commonwealth Government’s Australia-India Strategic Research Fund for research for development in improved energy storage solutions with the Indian Institute of Science (IISC), Bangalore.
Through DIRI, Deakin works with many of the IITs, IISc, Bharat Forge, University of Hyderabad, Biocon, Indian Oil, Reliance Life Sciences, etc. The activities include joint research at the faculty and student levels, internships, workshops, seminars etc.
3. How important is skilling, upskilling and reskilling in the context of global workforce?
#The ongoing pace of innovation in this new world of artificial intelligence, automation and hyper-connectedness will continuously affect the tasks, and demand for skills, in many occupational roles. It is said that 63% of all jobs will be soft-skill intensive by 2030.
With soft skills such as communication, critical thinking creativity, collaboration, metacognition, and motivation becoming increasingly important for seizing these opportunities, now is the time to invest in skilling, upskilling and reskilling for the future – both from the individual and the organisational point of view.
4. What skills do you reckon will be crucial in creating the workforce of the future?
#One of the greatest opportunities of industry 4.0 is that it will allow us to focus on what we, as humans, do best — think creatively, ideate, use our emotional intelligence, make value judgements and communicate. It is these soft skills that will help us remain competitive in the workforce.
5. How is the university creating globally employable graduates?
#The courses at Deakin are designed to ensure students develop systematic knowledge of the disciplines they study. Graduate outcomes are specified at the course level, mapped to course components and are assessed. Students are exposed to international placements for projects, internships and mobility programmes which are included in their curriculum.
Also, through the DeakinTALENT initiative, the University provides Programs & Services to empower Deakin students to build a career that aligns with their interests, values and skills.
6. Do you have any scholarships for Indian students?
#International students are awarded scholarships based on academic merit. In South Asia, Deakin offers the Vice Chancellor Meritorious Scholarship of value ranging from 20% to 100% of the total tuition fee. The Vice Chancellor Meritorious Scholarships with 100% fee waiver is aimed at rewarding deserving students with a meritorious academic history and holistic achievements, for post graduate and undergraduate studies.
7. Tell us about Deakin South Asia’s role and partnership in India?
#With the establishment of Deakin South Asia in 1994, Deakin became the first international university to open an office in Delhi. Our engagement spans across recruitment, research, mobility, executive education, employability and alumni services. With more than 11,000 Indian students having studied at Deakin, it is one of the most preferred international university for on-shore studies, research collaborations, mobility programs, etc.
Not only do Indian students choose an Australian education, many Australian students are also choosing from varied learning and internship opportunities based out of India. The exchange is mutual and beneficial to both nations.
Source: Times of India
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