RMIT University is changing the India-Australia education relationship

After decades where Australian universities have often been accused of taking the money for Indian students but not giving back – innovative ways of “giving back” have emerged from Melbourne’s RMIT University.

These efforts have been led by Professor Suresh Bhargava, Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor India, who received a Victorian Government “Victorian International Education Award for Excellence in Innovation in Partnership and International Engagement” for its work in India. (Pictured above)

What has RMIT University done?

It seems to me they have created a unique blend of Government, research, industry and universities across India to form an amazingly extensive network of relationships – as shown in this diagram.


The RMIT-AcSIR Program has at least eight leading Indian research centres and laboratories involved in a program which will target 100 PhD students.

As Dr Alan Finkel AO, Australia’s Chief Scientist, said: “Very few of us have the opportunity to do something that is first in the world and worthwhile. One without the other is common. Both together is ground-breaking.”

Dr Megan Clark, Head of the Australian Space Agency, also commented: “This is a wonderful achievement and will make such a difference for the future.”

Difference – RMIT University is setting out the groundwork for a new collaboration which will bring India and Australia closer together.

With the Modi Government poised to shake up Indian higher education and global relationships, now is a good time for all of our universities to build on this leadership from RMIT University.

Author: Stephen Manallack

Former President, Australia India Business Council, Victoria and Author, You Can Communicate; Riding the Elephant; Soft Skills for a Flat World (published by Tata McGraw-Hill INDIA); Communicating Your Personal Brand. Director, EastWest Academy Pty Ltd and Trainer/Speaker/Mentor in Leadership, Communication and Cross Cultural Communication. Passionate campaigner for closer western relations with India. Stephen Manallack is a specialist on “Doing Business with India” and advisor/trainer on “Cross-Cultural Understanding”. He is a Director of EastWest Academy Pty Ltd which provides strategic advice and counsel regarding business relations with India. A regular speaker in India on leadership and global communication, his most recent speaking tour included a speech to students of the elite Indian university, Amity University, in Noida. He also spoke at a major Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) global summit, the PR Consultants Association of India in Delhi, the Symbiosis University in Pune and Cross-Cultural Training for Sundaram Business Services in Chennai. He has visited India on business missions on 10 occasions and led three major trade missions there. He provides cross-cultural training – Asia and the west.

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