A highly controversial suggestion in the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 that allowed foreign universities to set up campuses in India would soon become a reality. Australia’s top-ranked tertiary institute, the University of Melbourne (UoM), will set up a micro-campus in India from next year.
The facility will be smaller than a full-fledged campus and would serve several functions, including offering professional training, lectures and courses in hybrid modes.
In an exclusive interaction with News18.com, Professor Michael Wesley, Deputy Vice-Chancellor International of the University of Melbourne, said: “We are considering a permanent presence of the University of Melbourne in India. It would take the form of a micro-campus in India and would offer joint degrees in partnership with good quality Indian universities and research institutes, in which a student could spend part of their course in India and the rest in Australia. .
UoM has reduced the location of the micro-campus to Delhi, Mumbai or Bangalore. The program will offer university-level courses, micro-certification courses and professional certificates in a wide range. Some of the disciplines UoM plans to offer are Applied Data Analytics, Information Technology, and Public Health.
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These courses will be offered in flexible mode. Certain parts of the courses, in particular the theoretical aspects, could be taught online. An important part, of course, will be taught in person. As Melbourne scholars will fly to India, the university is also planning to recruit teachers and professors from India’s top institutes.
“The Indian student population is diverse. With the micro-campus, we aim to reach the diverse student population that goes beyond the groups of students already enrolled in our on-campus degrees. We seek to offer flexible means of providing world-class education as well as a life-changing experience to a diverse student population in India,” said Wesley.
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He added that Indians are the second largest migration group in Australia after the British and Indians are expected to overtake the latter in four to five years.
“Indian migrants are welcome as they speak good English, have advanced skills and participate in Australian life and culture from day one and are valued,” he said, adding that the Australia is considering doubling post-study work rights for students, which will help retain talent and provide an easy pathway to permanent residency for international students. Currently, Indian students are granted two-year post-study work rights in Australia.
Australia already has a teacher training collaboration with Savitribai Phule Pune University, where the two institutions offer a joint Early Childhood Education teaching degree.
Suggesting Indian universities to increase the employability of their graduates, the professor said, “Indian universities may consider offering work-integrated subjects where students are placed in industry as part of the curriculum.”
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