Australian Govt. keen on partnership with Indian institutions

Australia is emerging as one of the sought-after destination for Indian students for a variety of higher education programmes, Australian Consul General – South India Sean Kelly told students of the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University and journalists here on Friday.

It was one of the top three education destinations for Indian students. This could be gauged from the fact that compared to 2012, the percentage of students granted visa for undergraduate or postgraduate study programmes in 2013 grew by over 165.

The visa processing office in New Delhi was one of the busiest for the Australian Government, he said and pointed out that the percentage of rejection was five or less than five per cent. These statistics only proved that Australia was the sought-after destination, he reiterated.

There were 35,000 Indian students in Australia pursuing science, engineering, management and a host of other programmes. The students went to Australia because the quality of education was very high. The country has five of the top 100 universities in the world, 15 Nobel Prize winners and a society that was friendly to foreigners.

Plus, the Australia Government offered Australian Dollar 300 million in scholarships every academic year.

Mr. Kelly said that under the ‘New Colombo Plan’ the Australia Government had planned to send Australian students to various Asian countries for study and study-related internship programme. At present, the students went to Japan and a few other East Asian countries. By 2015 they would be in India too.

Aside from this, the Australian Government was also keen on partnership with Indian institutions. Higher education institutions in Australia have thus far inked 450 memoranda of understanding with institutions in India, said Michael Carter, Trade Commissioner and Consul-Commercial, Australian Trade Commission.

As part of the undergraduate, postgraduate and research programmes, the students were allowed to work part-time/full-time in Australia. They could also explore the possibility of working there for up to four years after the completion of their studies. Mr. Carter also said that to network students the Australian Government had planned to encourage the setting up of Australian students’ alumni association.

Earlier at the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, the two officials spoke about areas where the TNAU and institutions could collaborate.

Vice-Chancellor K. Ramasamy said that the new India was keen on engaging Australian institutions as equal partners. There were 58 crore young Indians who were keen on taking forward the nation. In giving them the right skills and knowledge, institutions in the two countries could play a role.

He also spoke about how a few faculty in the University had benefitted by pursuing their post-doctoral research in Australia.

The University officials listed out the research programmes that the University had carried out with Australian help and those that were under progress.

Our Special Correspondent adds

Mr. Kelly said that apart from agricultural science, medical science and bio technology, Australia can work with Indian companies in some niche areas such as road safety. He addressed the members of Confederation of Indian Industry, Coimbatore, at a meeting organised here on Friday. He said that Indian investment in Australian has increased, especially in resources. While investments by Australian companies in India are growing it is relatively small in volume. “We are interested in high technology collaboration,” he said.

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