Subcontinent visit (Issue 42, 2010)


Professor Brian McGaw with the President of NIIT

A La Trobe University delegation visited Indian and Sri Lankan institutions during a two week trip to the subcontinent in August. Professor Brian McGaw, the Dean of the Faculty of Science, Technology and Engineering, Mr Nandi Lakshmanan, Senior International Officer of the Faculty of Science, Technology and Engineering, Mr Manoj Vadavat, International Development Manager, La Trobe International and Mr Amit Malhotra, Manager, South Asia, La Trobe International were  warmly received as they signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with two institutions, initiated articulation agreements with three universities and discussed extended collaboration possibilities with existing academic partners in the country. 

The University of Moratuwa in Colombo and the University of Colombo were both keen to collaborate in the area of computer science and engineering. Guest lectures, research collaborations, study tours, student and staff exchanges were also discussed. Currently, the University of Colombo has a student exchange agreement with La Trobe and Trevor Budge (Senior Lecturer, Arts & Social Sciences) is working with University of Mortuwa on a joint program in Rural & Urban planning.

An articulation agreement was signed with Gateway College in Colombo, which will allow their computer science students to obtain advanced standing into La Trobe University’s undergraduate programs in computer science & IT. The two institutions are also hoping to establish a collaboration in mathematics and statistics programs and, another series of articulation arrangements with undergraduate programs in the Faculty of Law & Management.

In India the delegation visited five institutions, all of which were keen to establish further collaborations with La Trobe.

SRM University in Chennai signed an articulation and student exchange agreement with La Trobe. La Trobe hopes to have a close collaboration with SRM in the area of biotechnology and nanotechnology, with a SRM nanotechnology team visiting La Trobe soon.

La Trobe University also sponsored SRM University’s annual event, International Conference on Advances & Emerging Trends in Computing Technologies in June this year with Dr. Phil Broadbridge (Head of School, Engineering & Maths) delivering the key note address. Prior to this event, Dr. Suzanne Zyngier (Senior Lecturer, School of Management) and Dr. Navin Veerapa (Lecturer in Marketing, Graduate School of Management) had visited the University for guest lectures.

A MoU was also signed with KL University in Vijayawada in the state of Andra Pradesh. KL University have just received funding from the Indian Government for an IT project and the two Universities hope to be able to collaborate in this project with KL University's Dean set to visit La Trobe soon to meet with relevant staff.

JSS University in Mysore also signed a MoU with La Trobe, focusing on pharmacy, IT and engineering. In particular research collaboration in the pharmacy area was discussed, as well as La Trobe’s involvement in an IT project funded by the Indian Government. A La Trobe-JSS Centre for Agriculture was proposed as well as a joint project in nanotechnology.

A visit to an existing partner, the University of Agricultural Sciences in Bangalore also took place with detailed discussion on the possibilities of a joint research collaboration, study tours and guest lectures in the area of agriculture and biotechnology. The University of Agriculture was keen to make use of La Trobe University’s upcoming AgriBio – the Centre for AgriBioscience and look at ways in which the institutions can apply for government grants and projects.

A collaboration contract with one of India’s largest computer education companies, NIIT, was also established. The discussions centered on La Trobe students spending semester exchanges at NIIT and research and product development collaborations between the two. The current articulation agreement offers students from the Middle East, Africa and Vietnam advanced standing options into La Trobe’s computer science programs. The two partners hope to extend this offering to students in other parts of the world as well, where NIIT operates.

Professor McGaw says that “developing partnerships with high quality overseas institutions is central to our ambitions to strengthen our international student cohort, to provide opportunities for student and staff exchange and to encourage international research collaboration”.

For more details about this visit please contact Mr Manoj Vadavat.