Australia’s Deakin University, which is the first foreign university to open its campus in Gujarat, will offer Indian students postgraduate programmes identical to the ones currently being offered in Australia, with the first two being masters in cybersecurity and masters in business analytics.
“Both courses are two years in duration, with the first year’s study made up of eight core units,” Prof Iain Martin, vice-chancellor of Deakin University, told FE. “In the second year, students will focus on taking up a cadetship, working directly with industry partners on agreed projects,” he added.
The batch size will be 50-odd students per programme. On Wednesday evening, at an event in Ahmedabad in the presence of visiting Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Deakin University announced the opening of its first international campus outside Australia, on which Deakin will invest Rs 22 crore (A$ 4 million) in the first phase.
Called the Deakin International Branch Campus (IBC), it will be set up in the smart business district of GIFT City in Gujarat and classes will begin in July 2024. The PG courses to be offered are both accredited with Australian Computer Society.
“About 200 companies are present in the GIFT City and most of them need people with cybersecurity and business analytics skills,” Prof Martin said. “Deakin’s will support GIFT City’s aspiration to deliver a supply of job-ready graduates to its target business segments.”
Ravneet Pawha, vice-president (global alliances) and CEO (South Asia), Deakin University, told FE that the campus will be operated on the same standards and requirements at the home campus in Australia. “Students will receive the same standard of higher education in GIFT City as at Deakin in Australia. Academic standards will be aligned with the national accreditation body in Australia — the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA),” she said.
Deakin, however, didn’t share the fee structure, but said more courses will be started later.
While the IBC will host only Indian students to begin with — and later may be students from some South Asian nations — there will be opportunities for those students to attend semesters in Deakin’s Australia campuses.
Set up in 1974, Deakin has campuses in Melbourne Burwood, Geelong Waurn Ponds, Geelong Waterfront and Warrnambool. It was ranked 266 in the QS World University Rankings 2023.
Pawha said it was only in December 2022 that Deakin actually started the process of opening up a physical campus in India. “The International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) — headquartered in GIFT City — played a key role in making this vision a reality by coming out with comprehensive International Branch Campus Regulations swiftly,” she said. “We got approval in record time with the application being submitted on February 28, 2023, and the in-principal approval on March 2, 2023.”
Prof Martin added that although this has been a rapid project, it’s built on top of 30 years of deep understanding of India. “Deakin started in 1974, and our India office opened in 1994, so India is part of almost 30 years of our almost 50 years of existence,” he said.
In Australia, Deakin hosts over 15,000 international students from 130 countries, including more than 5,300 students from India. But the India campus won’t impact students planning to go to Australia. “Students who want to go to Australia to study have a different mindset compared with those who would like to study in India,” said Pawha, who had played a key role in setting up the Deakin South Asia Office in India in 1994.
University of Melbourne launches dual degree
The University of Melbourne on Thursday launched the bachelor of science dual degree with University of Madras, Savitribai Phule Pune University and Gandhi Institute of Technology and Management Hyderabad at an event in Mumbai. Indian students who enrol in this dual degree will spend the first two years in India, followed by two years on campus in Melbourne. Upon successful completion, they will be awarded a Bachelor of Science from the University of Melbourne, and have the option for their local institution to award the degree. In addition, Indian students can study up to six master’s subjects in their final year.
University of Melbourne vice-chancellor Duncan Maskell announced this while travelling with the Prime Minister of Australia’s Trade Delegation to India.