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BW Businessworld

Australia Is Betting High On Engineers

Indian students visit Australia, and Macquarie in particular for postgraduate programs; master level coursework in engineering and computing

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“Education is moving away now with resources on the internet; from the traditional lecture-based coursework and we are doing more hands-on experience, and more of online learning”, claims Professor Richard de Grijs of Macquarie University, Australia on his visit to India for MoU signing with IIT Delhi.  

The changing approach of education lasts more in the mind, compared to just listening to lectures, where one thing comes in and goes out of mind, he further explains to BW Businessworld while touching on a  few more points about education in Australia, Indian students and their experience in Australia.    

Academic Programs

Indian students visit Australia, and Macquarie in particular for postgraduate programs; master level coursework in engineering and computing. Those are big attractions since Australia has a huge demand for engineers and professor Grijs affirms that is the reason they have taken academics in computer and engineering with them.

The application process is quite simple and includes a registration on the university website and documents verification with an IELTS score varying as per the academic program. To attract more Indian students, Macquarie University offers a $10,000 scholarship every year to each Indian student taking admission.

Research   

Professor Darren Bagnall, Dean, School of Engineering explains, “We need to move away from traditional academic research towards impact-driven research. I want to change the focus from traditional to impact research, wherein we want to solve business problems and challenges in the industry, and less we want to solve the problems and challenges for people in research. We want to concentralize student education around the kinds of problems they will face in jobs.”

Talking about apprenticeship, he added, “They are coming back in fashion. And I think as we strive towards traditional education framework, we have moved away from the real workplace, practice-based experience and this a worldwide challenge.”

We can strongly move into practice-based learning, and put in the framework we are striving for. Professor Bagnall wishes to “move to a position where half of the students’ time is spent doing real-world projects. We have a few research and educational partners; and because we have recently put this new model of learning, we have got great interest from companies putting in their Human Resources; however, I want them to be mentors first and bring in the money later.”  

Job ready

We have imposed people and community engagement on students to actively engage with the wider community through internships or research. Students need to have their bases covered, learning skills as well as the content. Then there is a significant component of the hands-on experience.

Macquarie wants its students to be more than exam takers. University graduates are very competitive in nature and receive a lot of job offers. It has a 95 percent graduate employment rate, ranked by QS.    

Indian students

Australia has now become the second most preferred destination for Indian students, only after the US. The numbers have gone up in the last 2-3 years. Macquarie has students from over 100 nationalities, with Indians being predominant there. Out of the nearly 45000 students, almost 30-40 percent are from outside Australia.

Talking about the safety of students, a university official claimed that there are no safety issues in Australia. The atmosphere is great with the minimal crime rate.

Another official claimed that Australia suffered from bad publicity without proper representation of facts. However, the country finally looks to be shedding its bad image for Indian students and is very welcoming for everyone.       


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