Australia’s La Trobe University, which has about 1,000 Indian enrolees, is trying to expand its association with India, including recruiting more pupils. It has announced scholarships worth A$600,000 for candidates pursuing a double MBA/master of biotechnology degree in the February 2011 session. The Victoria-based university is offering 15 scholarships, each carrying A$20,000 a year for those enrolling on the two-year programme, for which the annual tuition fee is A$25,770 a year.
On visit to India, deputy vice chancellor John Rosenberg spoke to HT Horizons about La Trobe’s plans.
What are your plans for India?
We are interested in attracting more Indian students. And we want to build research collaborations with Indian
We have had links with India from the beginning when the university was established in 1964. Our library was inaugurated by Indira Gandhi. (La Trobe has an Institute for India and South Asia.)
After the attacks on Indian students in Australia, has your university taken any steps to improve security?
Those incidents were regrettable. We were very upset because of them. As far as security is concerned, we have done a number of things. We work closely with the government and police. There’s increased police presence at places such as train stations etc. We work with them police to make students aware of, for instance, which places they may go to and which to avoid. Owing to such measures, the number of attacks on any person in the city area has dropped by 30%. We have a safe campus, with 24x7 on-campus security. We have a service under which students can take an escort if they need to. There’s a 24x7 emergency number for them.
Any plans which might be of interest to potential students in India?
We are very very strong in biotechnology and agri-sciences. We are building a $100-million molecular science institute (La Trobe Institute for Molecular Science), which is going to offer undergraduate, postgraduate and research programmes. It’s expected to be ready by 2012.
In addition, we are building a A$230 million agribioscience centre, jointly with the state government. It will be the largest research centre of its kind in the southern hemisphere. It’ll have 400 full-time researchers and graduate students as well. It’s going to open by the end of next year.
Interviewed by Rahat Bano