John Rosenberg from Australia's La Trobe University on what it has for Indian students

Professor John Rosenberg, deputy vice-chancellor and vice-president of the La Trobe University, Australia, was recently in India to meet with heads of various academic institutions here and collaborate with them along with holding alumni meets in Delhi and Hyderabad. In this interview, he talked to us about those partnerships, the university and its Indian connect.

Speaking about the various universities La Trobe plans to partner with from India, he mentioned having a meeting with NIIT. “We already have a partnership with NIIT. It is for those students who want to complete NIIT's programmes in countries like Africa, Middle East and Vietnam; they can do that by coming to La Trobe and getting their degree. We are now talking about students doing the same thing within NIIT as well. We also have a relationship with Lady Shriram College, which we have had for many years with student exchanges, etc. We also met the head of Delhi Technological University, which will be a new relationship. Then there were talks with Delhi University.”

Along with various student exchange programmes, La Trobe University also focuses on joint research programmes.

He also added, “La Trobe is about 45 years old. We have the second largest university campus in Australia in Melbourne. The university has been teaching Indian history, Sanskrit and Hindi since the time of its inception in 1967 and also has one of the largest libraries housing books on Indian history and language in Australia, which was opened by the then Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.”

One of the strong areas of the university is its health sciences department. Popular courses include dentistry, pharmacy, social work, psychology and physiotherapy. “Some of the most popular programmes for students from India are Master of Biotechnology and Master of Business Administration.”

With cases of racist attacks on Indian students reported in that country in the recent past, questions are bound to rise on the steps taken by the university against such occurrences. Prof. Rosenberg said, “It was very sad that those attacks happened. But having said that it is also a fact that Melbourne has regularly been listed as one of the safest cities to live in. We, along with the police, are trying to make students more aware of the unsafe parts of the city during their orientation itself. I am sure there are unsafe areas to be avoided in any city. Also, we are screening students at the time of admission itself as a lot of them wander off to cheaper areas to live probably because of lack of money. There is also a helpline number a student can call on at any time of the day.”