March 10, 2022
Ravneet Pawha, Deputy Vice President (Global) & CEO (South Asia), Deakin University, Australia
Ravneet Pawha is currently the Global Deputy Vice President and CEO (South Asia) – Deakin University Australia. She was awarded the prestigious Business Leader of the Year at the India Australia Business and Community awards 2018. She was also awarded the Exceptional Woman of Excellence in Women Economic Forum 2019. She holds various Vice Chancellor’s Awards of Excellence and outstanding contribution to building economic, social and human capital. She is the president of Australia India Business Council (Victoria).With over 28 years of experience in the international education and training sector, she has been instrumental in establishing global collaborations and strategic partnerships. She set up the Deakin University office in 1994, the first ever international ‘University office’ in India of any foreign education provider. She has developed 20 strong holistic partnerships across Government, academia, industry, and research specifically for Deakin University in India / South Asia and has contributed to the immense success globally. She is an inspirational leader and a passionate entrepreneur.
Do not lose hope!
To meet your career aspirations, refresh your vows engraving the fact that e-learning is the future, and you will certainly rise high if you travel with the time and do your efforts joyfully!
Let’s be grateful to the Almighty that we are alive to see all facets of life. Understandably, all of you carry dreams and they are battling challenges right now, owing to the pandemic. But challenges only help us rise provided we have an eye for observing opportunities that arise simultaneously.
Talking specifically about students aspiring to go to Australia, you should stay hopeful and do your best with the best of options available to you to continue learning. Do not lose on time. The third wave may slow down things and it might take some time to finally board the plane to Australia, or any other country.
We must not forget, what we all went through in India in the second wave, last year (April-May 2021). The idea is not to feel scared, but we must take action wisely. Generally, the sense is that Omicron is not such an intense virus and people are taking about 3-4 days to recover. Yet, we can’t be careless, for even a small illness can lead to dire consequences if not taken care of. So being responsible for oneself and others is important.
What many world-class higher education institutions or we are doing at Deakin University presently, will help both students and parents understand that their future is secured and will have ample opportunities if the former is taking studies seriously.
Sports management, Health Management, Cyber Security, Business Analytics, Psychology, Media Relations, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning are the most popular programmes amongst students, these days. The reason is the way students are discerning the future. Students learning a traditional subject as a major, are integrating it with a futuristic minor. Marketing, for example, now, is coupled with the knowledge of digital marketing too. During the pandemic, the health sector is booming with professionals who have knowledge and skills in health management, health technology solutions, community health, health analytics, etc.
In Australia, if you are studying in any master’s degree for minimum of two years on-campus, you can apply to stay back and work for three years. And in regional Australia, you can work for four years post studies. Students can apply for employment after soon their graduation.
All progressive universities have strong industry-linked platforms. For example, when students enroll at Deakin, they automatically are registered to Deakin Talent. This platform is a completely digitised service for students where we align the profile of students to match their aspirational goals tapping their skills during their course of study. And at end of the course, we link them to the best companies. If a student wants to go back to India, there’s an option to register with Indian companies too.
For any overseas education aspirant, borders are now open, and it is unlikely that even in the current situation, the borders will be shut down. International students are continuously coming to Australia and are being supported strongly by the Government and respective Universities.
As reported by the Australian Financial Review on Thursday, January 13, 2022, the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has fuelled labour shortages across several sectors in Australia, prompting the 40-hour-a-fortnight cap lift in sectors affected by the pandemic. The Federal government has agreed to a proposal to increase the 40-hour a fortnight cap for foreign students while they are studying, with it likely to be doubled to 80 hours a fortnight or 40 hours a week, said the report.
On-shore international students are now more likely to be exposed to opportunities for mentoring and securing employment in various sectors.
Please note that online learning will stay forever now. The new normal will very certainly be a hybrid model, in which traditional offline teaching and e-learning coexist. It is difficult to deny that hybrid learning has a bright future. Hybrid learning effectively combines the benefits of personalisation and convenience to provide a learning environment that is best adapted to meet students’ changing demands in today’s world.
The hybrid model has emerged as a fascinating example of the phrase “necessity is the mother of invention.” As the pandemic, ideally, fades, it will mutate further, spawning a slew of clever sub-models under the ‘hybrid’ umbrella.
In total, resistance to change will not help any of us, whether we talk about students, teachers, or institutions worldwide.
Students, you, surely have a bright future. You will be judged on your eagerness and agility to adapt to the trends and ability to sync with the changes.
Keep looking for the opportunities and moving forward to carve out a niche for yourself in the new normal!