Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Australia woos Indian students with scholarships

Ten scholars from India will be awarded 90,000 Australian dollars (about $94,400) each to pursue their PhDs from varsities in Australia's Victoria state starting 2012, the Australian High Commission said Tuesday.

The new Victoria-India Doctoral Scholarships Programme, launched by the state government of Victoria and the Australia India Institute, is among the several strategic engagement opportunities initiated by the Victorian government to woo Indian students.

The nine universities in the state have agreed to provide a full tuition waiver to Indian students, and the scholarships will support living costs and education-related travel. The scheme was launched here by the Australian High Commissioner Peter Varghese and Amitabh Mattoo, Director of the Australia India Institute, Melbourne, along with Victoria's Commissioner to India Geoffrey Conaghan.

"This generous scholarship is a great opportunity for some of India's smartest researchers to pursue their doctoral studies at Victoria's universities," Varghese said. "The academic communities of India and Australia are working more closely together than ever before," he added.

"The scholarships will contribute to global knowledge and help build a closer partnership between India and Australia," said Louise Asher, Victoria's minister for innovation, services, small business, tourism and major events. Asher said that Victoria attracts quality students from around the world because of its strong infrastructure and internationally-known researchers and teachers.

Speaking at the launch, Mattoo said: "This was a singularly important step by the Victorian government to build a real partnership with India."

The universities are Deakin University, La Trobe University , Monash University, RMIT University, Swinburne University, Australian Catholic University, The University of Melbourne, University of Ballarat and Victoria University.

The move was seen to be aimed to woo back Indian students after the spate of racial attacks had dealt a blow to the number of students going to Australia.

Source: The Economic Times (Online Edition), June 28, 2011

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