Australia’s innovative, unique, and practical approach to engineering education, it’s no surprise that the country has proven to be a magnet for talented Indian students looking to change the world, writes Amit Das Gupta, India Country Director, University of New South Wales for Elets News Network (ENN).
Engineering, unlike the pure sciences, requires practical applications in addition to strong theoretical knowledge. It’s for this reason that a world class engineering course must possess the infrastructure, drive, and expertise required to effectively inculcate in its students, a thorough understanding of engineering and its real world applications. Universities too, should simultaneously equip them with the tools they need to be able to adapt to the ever-changing tech environment once they graduate.
This entrepreneurial approach to a dynamic field like engineering gives students a competitive edge over their peers, helping empower them to be the inventors, innovators, and leaders of tomorrow. This relationship between quality education and a realistic approach to job markets of the future is highly evident at universities in Australia. Here are ten reasons why we believe that the country is the ultimate destination for Indian engineering aspirants:
According to the QS World University Rankings by Subject for 2018, universities in Australia rank high for fields like Civil, Mineral & Mining, Electrical & Electronic, and Mechanical Engineering. Several major universities in the country have earned a reputation of being internationally recognisable. As a result of the calibre and dedication of academics combined with the exposure students achieve, Australian universities have contributed phenomenally to the field of engineering, and their achievements are recognisable globally.
Wide Selection Of Engineering Courses
Universities in Australia can proudly boast of their faculty. In fact, the University of New South Wales (UNSW Sydney), boasts of the largest faculty of engineering in the whole country. In total, the University offers 165 individual course specialisations, out of which, 140 are postgraduate degrees, while 25 are undergraduate courses. Engineering courses in Australia are regularly updated in order to stay relevant to technological advancements, while empowering students to use their knowledge for real-world applications. Some of the most popular engineering courses among international students are mechanical and electrical engineering programmes.
The Forefront Of Technological Research
The engineering departments in Australian universities are internationally acclaimed for being a frontrunner in several advanced research programmes, ranging from quantum computing, environmentally friendly waste disposal, and membrane technology, to name a few. Their departments have made several key scientific breakthroughs and are known for producing award winning professionals in a range of fields.
Exposure and Accreditation
Engineering students at Australian universities are encouraged to pursue internships alongside their coursework, in order to gain work experience. Additionally, they are exposed to students from different countries, giving them access to unique ideas, perspectives, and opinions, while creating phenomenal opportunities to connect with some of the most intelligent people from all over the world. Many universities, like UNSW Sydney, offer industrial training placement opportunities which allow students to explore several different work environments, jobs roles, and projects, to give them a more realistic understanding of the profession they’ve opted for. Some even go so far as to facilitate an accreditation by Engineers Australia, which carries immense value and weightage for aspiring job-seekers.
Diversity and Multiculturalism
Australian universities are home to some of the world’s most diverse engineering programmes, with students of different nationalities, races, religions, and creeds, acting as a beacon of respect, tolerance, and brotherhood. As a strong proponent for women in engineering, UNSW Sydney, besides many other universities in Australia, has seen a 23% female enrolment, significantly higher than the national average, a number which it hopes to increase by an additional 7% by 2020.
Given its impeccable legacy, world renowned faculties, and strong industry connections, engineering students in the country are highly sought after, and campus placements at universities feature some of the most prestigious companies from Australia and across the world. Their focus on real-world applications means that students are well equipped to handle the pressures of the corporate life and dealing with change, which is particularly important in a field like engineering that is known to evolve on a day-to-day basis.
Student Led Initiatives
Australian universities host several student-led programmes such as UNSW’s Sun swift, the solar racing team, which offer them the opportunity to gain first-hand leadership experience while fostering an atmosphere of competition, teamwork, and fun. Working on these initiatives gives students valuable life lessons in a controlled environment; knowledge that could never truly be replicated in a book or a classroom. They emphasise very strongly on such activities because of their ability to build character and inculcate a sense of teamwork in students.
Tie-ups With Industry Giants
As part of industrial training programmes, universities in Australia connect their students to some of the biggest and most influential industry leaders in the country and across the globe. They encourage internships as part of their degree, thereby helping acquire industry knowledge, and a practical understanding of the concepts they’ve learnt in class, along with a chance to network with professionals. These internships have, on several occasions, translated into full-time employment after graduation, depending upon the individual student’s competence, knowledge, and performance.
A Strong Alumni Network
Former students of Australian Universities currently occupy senior positions in several major corporations and tech giants across the globe. There is a very strong sense of pride and camaraderie associated with fellow alumni. All major Australian Universities have alumni associations that serve as a global network of former students, to help each other out in the form of professional references, recommendations, and advice.
Student Focused Courses
With numerous scholarships for talented Indian applicants, and an 11-month diploma course that counts as a first year for those wishing to pursue engineering, Australian universities such as UNSW focus strongly on creating convenient, accessible, and high quality programmes for all students.