Australia’s Deakin University, the first foreign university to set up an international campus at GIFT City in Gandhinagar, started seeking applications on Tuesday for its two postgraduate programmes – session starting July 2024 – at an annual fee of AUD 19,000 (around Rs 10.7 lakh).
This was announced during the second day of the visit by the Australian delegation to Gujarat, led by Education Minister Jason Clare.
Australia’s University in Wollongong, meanwhile, announced that it will start seeking applications at its GIFT City branch for masters in computing (data analytics) from January next year for the July 2024 session. The university will open admission for its undergraduate programme in computing in 2025.
“Today marks a historic milestone in India’s journey in the field of higher education, as we celebrate the announcement of two campuses, Deakin and University in Wollongong in GIFT City,” Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said.
He was speaking at the ‘Arambh (The Beginning): Australian University Campuses in India’ programme at Gift City. The Australian delegation, along with Pradhan, also visited the under-construction sites of both Deakin and Wollongong campuses.
The 25,000 sq ft campus of Deakin University is set to be inaugurated in January 2024, likely during the Vibrant Gujarat Summit. Applications for admission will be accepted till March 31.
“We will charge AUD 19,000, which is nearly Rs 10 lakh per annum. The cost of living will be around Rs 2.5 lakh per annum for students. That is roughly half the cost of what a student has to pay in the Australia campus,” Deakin University Vice-Chancellor Prof Iain Martin said.
He added that from next year, the university will offer masters programmes in cyber security (professional) and business analytics. “Each of these are two-year courses and applications for admission will be accepted from today. We see the strength of this site (GIFT City) is the interface with industry. We want to be a part of this knowledge, technology and the finance eco system here,” he said.
“This will be an Australian university operating in India with Australian characteristics but Indian culture… Students will study a Deakin curriculum, follow the same calendar… In time, we hope that Australian students will spend some time here and vice versa…,” Prof Martin said.
The University of Wollongong, meanwhile, also announced the launch of a global collaboration for women in fintech.
“When our campus opens in July 2024, we will be targeting scholarships for women in fintech… we will be leveraging our campuses in Dubai, Sydney and Malaysia to create networks and sponsorships for women in fintech… also leveraging the companies here (GIFT City) and our alumni… to join us in this endeavour,” University of Wollongong Vice-Chancellor and president, Prof Patricia M Davidson, said.
Maintaining that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, Pradhan said: “Today, we are taking that very step… two very credible Australian universities, both 50 years old, have Indian relations since the last three decades.”
“The introduction of foreign university campuses in India perfectly aligns with the vision outlined in National Education Policy, 2020. This transformative policy emphasises ‘Internationalization at Home’, aiming to create a vibrant, diverse, and inclusive educational environment within our own country,” he said.
“Gujarat is the land of opportunities, a progressive state with vibrant economy, state-of-the-art infrastructure and ease of doing business ecosystem. Gujarat is the leading growth engine of India. The campus of these two Australian universities in GIFT city is a gift that the nation has been looking forward to,” he added.
Pradhan further said, “With the presence of renowned international institutions, we are seeking to foster rich cultural and academic exchanges, where students and faculty from different corners of the world will collaborate, learn, and grow together. This will not only elevate the quality of education but also empower our students with a global perspective, essential in today’s interconnected world.”