Tale of an academic bonding strengthened by love for cricket

  • Rozelle Laha, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Apr 08, 2016 15:54 IST
Students from La Trobe University work with team members of Kings XI Punjab (seen here during a match). (HT Photo)

Cricket is not just about playing a match. It involves social media engagement, player management and business management too. While a degree in sports management teaches you all of these, Melbourne-based La Trobe University (LTU) has gone one step ahead – it worked with the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) Team of Indian Premier League in September 2014, to allow their students to see behind-the-scene action in a live cricket match.

In 2016, five students will be visiting India to work with the team, as a part of their curriculum at LTU. They also earn credits in the semester based on their performance here in India.

“Australia as a country has a very strong sports fame. At LTU, we offer courses in sports science, sports management and sports business. Keeping in view the enthusiasm about cricket in India, we realised that cricket is one common area of interest for both these countries, so why not use it as a means to bond academically too? The tie-up offers a student opportunities for research work, develop insights and teaches them skills to solve problems. We believe that research activities get better when carried out in collaboration with a country that is not the researcher’s home country,” says Professor Jane Long, senior deputy vice chancellor, LTU.

In 2015 too, seven LTU students visited India to assist work with KXIP. For the students, this six-week trip was not just about gaining hands-on knowledge, but also a cultural learning experience. Every year, LTU also nominates students, who are further interviewed by KXIP for various roles, says Amit Malhotra, associate director, South Asia, LTU.

Out of 33,000 students studying at the university at present, 1,500 students are Indian. After China, Indian students form the largest share of international students at the university.

Information technology, engineering, MBA are the most sought after courses by Indian students at the university. The university offers La Trobe International Student Scholarship of upto $9,500 AUD (approximately Rs 47,8412) for tuition fee.

The university also offers the Shri Amitabh Bachchan Scholarship to one Indian student once in every four years to enable him/her to develop a research thesis in the field of media, digital technology and communication. The scholarship valued at 200,000 AUD (approx Rs 10,051,894) was given to an Indian student for the first time in 2014.

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