Forging stronger partnerships with India

Posted on December 6, 2011

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Strengthening La Trobe University’s commitment to South Asia: Professor Rosenberg with the Principal of Lady Shri Ram College, Dr Meenakshi Gopinath.

Building on traditional links with India that go back to the opening of its Library by former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1968, La Trobe University has strengthened its association with India.

It has just signed Memoranda of Understanding with three leading Indian Institutes – Delhi Technological University, the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, and Presidency College at Bengaluru University.

‘La Trobe University looks forward to welcoming more Indian students and building strong research collaborations with Indian institutions,’ said La Trobe Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Professor John Rosenberg, who travelled to India to sign the Memoranda of Understanding.

He outlined the Australian Government’s recent strategic review of the student visa program which has led to substantial changes to Australia’s visa regime.  ‘This will definitely encourage genuine students to consider Australia for their higher education. I think these are very positive and welcome changes,’ he said.

Professor Rosenberg said La Trobe University’s Melbourne campus was the second largest university campus in Australia. La Trobe had almost 4,000 alumni whose country of birth is India.

‘The University has been teaching Indian history, Sanskrit and Hindi since its inception in 1967 and also has one of the largest libraries housing books and manuscripts on Indian history and language in Australia.’

New University office in Delhi

Agreement signing ceremony in Delhi, with Professor Rosenberg and DTU Vice-Chancellor, Professor P B Sharma, centre.

Visiting New Delhi, Bengaluru and Chennai Professor Rosenberg also inaugurated La Trobe University’s South Asia office in Delhi – and hosted a function for the University’s Indian alumni, which was opened by the Governor of Victoria, Alex Chernov AO QC.

‘The Delhi office,’ Professor Rosenberg said, ‘will further strengthen La Trobe’s commitment to South Asia in developing strong partnership with leading universities and companies that can lead to collaborative projects. The new office will also assist students.’

Professor Rosenberg said the MOU with Delhi’s Technological University will lead to collaborative research, joint student projects, student and staff exchange, study tour, internships, and articulation opportunities. He said discussions were also in progress for joint undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs.

His delegation also participated in the celebration of the 15th Anniversary of La Trobe’s partnership with Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi, hosting a well-attended reception for Alumni, students, parents and partners, many of whom expressed great satisfaction with the La Trobe approach to teaching.

The collaboration with IIT Madras, Professor Rosenberg said, was an extremely important one for La Trobe. ‘This relationship could grow bigger with our other institutional partners, including the prestigious National University of Singapore (NUS), joining for future collaborative projects since NUS is a partner university for both La Trobe and IIT.’

Scholarship for IT intern

Professor Rosenberg also announced a scholarship worth $5,000 for an IIT student to undertake an internship program at La Trobe University, covering travel and living expenses.

‘The focus of the relationship will be to develop collaborative research projects, joint PhD opportunities and student/staff exchange in areas including computer science, electronic engineering and biotechnology. Discussions are also in progress for a joint project opportunity with La Trobe’s Centre for Technology Infusion and IIT.’ 

Mrs Gandhi at La Trobe’s library in 1968.

India has had a special relationship with La Trobe since the University’s inception.

‘At its birth in 1967, La Trobe University made a commitment to the study of India and its neighbours. High profile academics were appointed to drive this agenda and the La Trobe Institute for India and South Asia was established,’ Professor Rosenberg said.

‘The tradition continues today through institutional partnerships with premier Indian schools, in line with La Trobe University’s long history of establishing mutually beneficial relationships with government, private business, community groups and schools that deliver exceptional results.’ (ER)