While educationists, policymakers and industrialists debate about the role of education in the 21st Century, several universities across the world are responding to the fact that students want more than an education. They also need a job. Newcastle University in the UK is one such university.
According to David Levinson, the university’s senior careers adviser, who was recently in the Capital, “when students come to study with us, we not only give them a strong academic base but also give them the right skill-sets that will help them in their jobs.”
Newcastle University is a member of the Russell Group comprising UK’s leading universities, which are strong in research. He adds that the university is committed to quality teaching, research-oriented work with the community as well as the industry.
Currently, around 300 Indian students are studying at the university. Levinson elaborated on the launch of India-specific scholarships. “Newcastle University is announcing four exclusive scholarships for Indian students — three at the undergraduate and one at the postgraduate level in the areas of engineering and life sciences worth 16,000 pounds. These scholarships will be given to students who have scored more than 70%. We will ask students to fill forms and write a statement on why they think they deserve a scholarship,” he adds.
Talking about the popular courses among Indian students, Levinson says, “Besides MBA, Indian students opt for engineering courses in electronics, mechanical and marine. Life science courses, research courses, genetics, international business law and medicine are some of the popular courses.”
Students while studying can also work on campus for 100 hours. Besides on campus jobs, students also get an understanding of local businesses.
“We have tie-ups with local businesses and with flexible time-tables, students can juggle both studies and work on specific projects. Students are also helped with placements,” he informs.
Admission to a foreign university involves assessing a candidate’s complete personality. Reacting to the high cut-off marks in DU colleges, Levinson says, “At the time of admission, we assess the student holistically keeping in mind points such as what kind of a classmate would s/he be? What are his/her interests? What kind of motivation the student has for pursuing a particular course? We also sometimes conduct interviews if we feel a student has potential but not such a good academic record. We want to ensure we take in the right mix of students.”
Commenting on the Foreign Education Bill, which is pending approval, Levinson says, “If the bill is passed, we would like to open a campus in India.”