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Australian varsity forays into India

 New Delhi, Dec. 23: India is fast catching the  attention of foreign  universities who are  making a foray  in the country. The latest to join  the  bandwagon is  University of Wollongong  (UoW), New South Wales  which  will open its  campus in the country.

The official announcement for the same was  made  recently after UoW  signed an MoU with  Gujarat NRE, a  coal mining company, which will  aid  with the setting up  of the campus. Adam  Gilchrist, who is the brand  ambassador of the  university, expressed his happiness  at being a part of  the initiative.

“My brother is a graduate of the UoW. I was also going  to enroll myself  at UoW. When I finished my secondary  education, I got a cricket scholarship. So when the  opportunity was presented to me to be a part of the initiative, I was more than happy to join,” he said.

Judy Raper, the university’s deputy vice-chancellor, said: “Australia and India have a strong relationship. India is one of our largest trading partners. We have  approximately 1,200 students from India,” she said. Raper emphasised the fact that they wanted to strengthen the relationship between the two countries through education partnerships.

However, the university is still in s deciding phase regarding the kind of courses which will be on offer. “We are not sure about the courses. We may start with Business and IT. We are still in talks with the Education Minister about certain procedures. There would be quality assurance since the degree will have the name of University of Wollongong. Our mission is to start small and grow big,” Raper said.

In the past, relationship between the two nations was marked by unpleasant attacks on Indian students in Australia. This also led to hostility between the two nations in other spheres as well. Raper said that UoW had never witnessed such incidents of violence and they had special measures in place to check any such instances.

“Those attacks happened some years back. At our university, Indian students have never faced such racial attacks. In fact, we have been awarded for being the most welcoming campus for international students. We have been working with the locals to provided help to students. Also, we have police presence on the campus,” she stressed.

Gilchrist said that there were some isolated incidents of violence which didn’t indicate anything. “I made a point of talking to Indian students. They didn’t have negative thoughts to share. Also, one needs to be careful,” he added.

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