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IT And Engineering Will Always Bring Employment Opportunities: Prof. Barney Glover

"Western Sydney University’s innovative research is helping Indian farmers increase yield through sustainable groundwater use and water-intensive farming practices", Prof. Barney Glover, VC & President, Western Sydney University

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On his visit to India, accompanied by a high level Western Sydney University delegation for the signing of important MoUs with India’s leading educational institutes and organizations, Prof. Barney Glover, Vice-Chancellor and President at Western Sydney University talks about India - Australia academic partnerships and preparing for jobs of future.    

People will work in jobs that are unknown yet. How do universities prepare for change we cannot anticipate?

Universities are innovative learning structures. We have undertaken an extensive update of our entire curriculum to ensure our students not only receive traditional academic learning experiences, but also practical training that develops vital skills to increase employability. 

We have created the ‘flipped classroom’ design that puts the student into the center of the learning experience. Furthermore, the University is co-creating curriculum with industry and government partners as part of the disruption to traditional university offerings, enabling transformational opportunities for students. 

The University has also focused on the development of technically-enhanced vertical campuses set in western Sydney, Australia. These campuses connect students to business partners and allow for a stronger cross-fertilization of knowledge, experience, and aspirations.  

How important is India as a student import destination for Australia? How do academic partnerships help both India and Australia in education?

As one of Australia’s largest two-way trading partner, India, and Australia have a long and close economic relationship, which includes higher education and training. Sharing enriched educational experiences between the two countries is key to the success of both nations.

Western Sydney University is partnering with government, industry and Indian universities to address food security challenges through education and research.  

The world population will grow by 1 billion in next 12 years, already one in eight people are chronically undernourished and, due to climate change, Agricultural productivity could decline by 21 percent in developing countries by 2050. Traditional farming systems will not feed the growing population of the world. Western Sydney University’s innovative research is helping Indian farmers increase yield through sustainably managing groundwater use and changing water-intensive farming practices. 

The University has also formed an alliance with the Indian Institute for Science, Bangalore to tackle some of the most significant issues of the modern age to put us at the global forefront of neuromorphic engineering. After five decades of advances in electronic devices, the physical limits for transistor sizes are being reached, and alternative approaches are needed in order to continue a trajectory of improved performance. 

Does online learning pose a threat to the traditional method of learning in universities? How do universities carve out a niche for themselves in an age of digital learning?

Online learning has distinct applications: it provides flexibility for ‘traditional’ students who want face to face support and collegiality but cannot make it to some physical lectures; it also provides opportunity for students who cannot even consider traveling to a campus or whose schedules dictate that they can only study at times that are outside any campus hours.

Online learning is a natural evolution and extension of our considerable offerings on campus. Western Sydney University has developed competitive and supportive online learning environments with built-in assistance, community development, learning advisors and a support team in Bachelors of Business, Cyber Security and Behaviour, Social Science and Nursing, with more offerings underway.

What are the most in-demand career options and courses for Indian students in Australia?

We are seeing demand for our graduates across the disciplines. New degrees such as Cyber Security and Behaviour are being driven by high demand for highly-skilled workers, while Accounting, IT and Engineering will always lead to employment opportunities. There is also strong demand for Western Sydney University graduates in Public Health and Nursing, which we are ranked number one for in Australia.

Further popular courses for Indian students include:

  • MBA
  • Master of Professional Accounting
  • Bachelor of Business
  • Bachelor of Accounting
  • Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)
  • Masters of Engineering
  • Bachelor of Nursing/Bachelor of Nursing (Graduate Entry)
  • Master of Public Health
  • Master of Health Science