Expanded opportunities for Indian students
New agreements between India and Australia are leading to new opportunities for Deakin students.
Members of India’s largest business and industry body, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) recently visited Deakin as part of an innovative new student internship program.
The goal is to foster industry-university partnerships in Australia and India by offering ‘virtual internships’ across both countries.
Students are matched with organisations and undertake cross-cultural work focussed on the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. They develop skills in the growing area of corporate social responsibility. So far 32 students have completed internships in India and Australia, working on projects at NGOs in both countries. Partners for these internships include the United Nations Association of Australia and the Goa Institute of Management in India.
FICCI is a major supporter, offering online masterclasses for its 250,000 member organisations to learn more about the internship program. It also helps them integrate the Sustainable Development Goals into their business models. The goal is to grow student internship opportunities with a larger range of member organisations.
‘By offering the internships virtually, students have access to a wider range of opportunities, and the flexibility of delivery is critical for students looking to get meaningful work experience in a post-pandemic world.’
FICCI Deputy Secretary Mr General Manish Singhal and FICCI Director Mr Gaurav Vats met with Deakin Business School senior lecturer Dr Ameeta Jain and team members Professor Alex Newman and Associate Professor Harsh Suri.
Dr Jain, who is leading the program, said she was excited to facilitate better connections between Australia and India, where she was born.
‘Our aim is to build pathways for students to study and work across both countries, to develop and share work-ready skills,’ she said. ‘By offering the internships virtually, students have access to a wider range of opportunities, and the flexibility of delivery is critical for students looking to get meaningful work experience in a post-pandemic world.
‘Students also receive valuable skills in cultural awareness and development, how to talk to, and work with, people with a different background to their own.’
The internship initiative is funded by Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) through the Australia-India Council.
This visit by FICCI members came at the same time as the Australian and Indian governments signed a new trade agreement that has positive outcomes for Deakin students. Post-study work rights for Indian students with a bachelor degree with first class honours will be extended from two to three years post study in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) and information and communications technology (ICT) sectors. The agreement also allows Australian-educated engineers to work in India with no further testing requirements.