‘The objective is to develop the intellectual talents’

Sakal Times
Friday, 5 April 2019

Prof David Lovell, Associate Dean (International) and Dr Apoorva Palkar, Convener-Task Force, Globalisation of Higher Education, Government of Maharashtra spoke with Sakal Times about an MoU that University of New South Wales (UNSW) signed with the Maharashtra Government 

Prof David Lovell, Associate Dean (International) and Dr Apoorva Palkar, Convener-Task Force, Globalisation of Higher Education, Government of Maharashtra spoke with Sakal Times about an MoU that University of New South Wales (UNSW) signed with the Maharashtra Government 

Q: What is the main objective behind the MoU signed with Maharashtra government?
Prof David Lovell: The objective is to develop the intellectual talents of students in Maharashtra. We have discovered that the Maharashtra Government is interested in internationalising education and is really keen to develop the relationship to find talent that we can use for research training in Australia.

 

Dr Apoorva Palkar: From the government’s perspective, a committee has been constituted by Government of Maharashtra for the globalisation of higher education. This was done in 2014.

We have been working on globalisation of higher education and in keeping with that objective the MoU has been given to UNSW. As per the agreement, we have been trying to spot talent from Maharashtra and give them a chance to pursue their education at UNSW.

Q: How is the scholarship programme going to be beneficial to the students of Maharashtra?
Prof David Lovell: The scholarship programme provides for tuitions and visas for students at UNSW. Up to 20 students from Maharashtra can come to Australia and undertake the PhD research programme. For some of those scholarships, there is also a living allowance attached.
Many of the institutes/ students have no direct costing in terms of career and the prime agenda of this research is to return to Maharashtra and contribute to the community.

Q: Is there a specific reason for choosing students from Maharashtra?
Prof David Lovell: The public university system in Maharashtra is strong and we have been working with students who have a research background over the last couple of years. I have been meeting with large groups who seem very interested in research scholarships and I see a lot of potential in the students of Maharashtra.

Q: Tell us more about the MoU in terms of the extent of collaboration with UNSW.
Dr Apoorva Palkar: The major focus of the MoU is to enable bright students from India to pursue their PhD programmes at UNSW, and bring the international research standards back home. They will also be connected somewhere with the universities and professors and all their learning will come back to India. The whole thought process is to collaborate with UNSW for the benefit of the students. Research is the main focus and the scholarship is the one part of this. We are also building up relations with professors in different research areas. There is another area that we are working on where UNSW is willing to work on research ideas for start-ups in India. There are three areas that the MoU focuses on: scholarships, research exchanges between faculty members and professors and research ideas, which can get into businesses and which are researched by scholars at UNSW and can come to India and become a start-up.

Q Tell us about the student’s eligibility criteria for the PhD scholarship program?
Prof David Lovell: It is a very difficult programme and we receive thousands of applications from across the world. There are students from 130 countries who apply for our PhD programme. We are looking for research potential and the best students from each country. Apart from academic excellence we are looking for strong research potential. In order to get into this programme, you must be recognised as an exemplary student who will be able to do justice to this very extensive piece of research.
 

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