On Campus

Students now head to Victoria, Australia, for sports education

Vinay Kamath Chennai | Updated on October 30, 2014

Victorian University_2

Victorian University_1

Indian students have typically headed to universities in the Australian state of Victoria, especially Melbourne, for courses in engineering, business and technology. Given the Aussie love of sport and its traditions as a sporting nation, a small but growing number of students are headed to Victoria for sports education. 

Says Annie Santhana, Regional Director, Education, of the Bangalore-based office of the state government of Victoria, “It is a very small number. But we are starting to see an increase in the collaborations happening in the sports space. We recently had Victoria University’s Institute of Sports Education working with the Kerala government. Kerala has a vision to become the sports state of India. The institute is helping them realise this ambition by building capacity and on how to involve communities for uptake of sports. It recently conducted elite sports workshops which were targeted at sports administrators who are going to be involved in the National games that are going to be held in Kerala. The first part of it was completed six months ago and another set of workshops would be conducted either later in the year or early next year.”

Earlier, Deakin University had partnered with IPL team Rajasthan Royals for sports research and mentoring. Similarly, Latrobe University has now partnered with Kings XI Punjab. “There is a strong synergy with Australia which is perceived as strong sporting nation,” she adds.

   In an interaction with Business Line, Santhana said that Victoria already has a rich education and training relationship with India and the Australian state is looking to boost ties further. There are close to 22,000 Indian students enrolled across universities in Victoria; the state attracts the largest share, almost 50 per cent, of Indian students to Australia. The Chinese contingent is the largest with 33,000 Chinese students studying in Victoria.

“Although we have only 10 universities, nearly 8 out of those 10 are ranked amongst the top 500 in the world, and one that is ranked amongst the top 50 in the world according to Times Higher Education World University Rankings and QS World University Rankings. That is indicative of a strong culture of education,” explains Santhana.

There are around 1,45,000 international students that are currently studying in Victoria who are from 140 different countries. Melbourne is known as one of the top student cities in the world apart from Boston, London and Tokyo, she says. “We pride ourselves that due to the large concentration of the universities and with extensive space, number of students and support services, Melbourne has been rated consistently as the most 'livable' cities in the world,” adds Santhana.

India is an important market for Victoria to attract students to study there. There are over 400 academic and research partnerships between India and Australia and out of that 200 of them are from Victorian universities, she explains. .

“We have one of our universities, Deakin, celebrating 20 years in India. They are trying to build academic and research links with a 'Deakin India Research Initiative'. They have spent A$ 3-4 million in the last couple of years. It includes PhD research, joint research programmes, academic programmes for student mobility and student exchange. They have a very strong partnership with TERI in Delhi where they have a nano-bio research centre for research in the areas of how to extract clean water out of a polluted environment. It’s quite cutting edge research,” she elaborates.

   A bulk of the students headed to Australia are interested in the fields of engineering, business and technology, there is no change in that. “What is surprising is the vocational education programmes and how much of the uptake they have. Also these are linked closely to the post study work options which are offered to the students. They get to work for two years after completing their studies. A lot of students take the vocational programmes which provide a pathway into the university system,” says Santhana.


  The Victorian government offers liberal scholarships. There’s the Victorian India Doctoral Scholarship, which offers around A$ 1 million and a full fee waiver. That apart there’s the Victorian International Research Scholarship and a joint academic scholarship online network which lists scholarships from the federal state as well as from local governments. “A lot of our universities also offer part scholarships,” she adds. The Victorian government in the last two years has supported scholarships worth A$ 2.3 million for Indian students


Published on October 30, 2014

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