BITS-RMIT Higher Education Academy Students Discover RMIT and Melbourne

RMIT University has welcomed over 90 engineering students from Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), Pilani on a two-week immersion tour of the campuses and Melbourne.

These students are the inaugural cohort of the BITS-RMIT Higher Education Academy, the first dual-degree initiative between Australia and India.

This partnership aims to provide high-quality transnational education to Indian students and facilitate significant regional collaboration with India.

As part of the partnership, these students will spend the first two years of their degree in India, studying at BITS Pilani, and then in their third and fourth years, will come to Melbourne to complete their degrees.

Professor Ian Burnett, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the STEM College said that it was special to welcome the students to the city.

“BITS and RMIT are both leading providers of STEM programs. This program draws on those combined strengths to deliver world-class education and training,” he said.

“The students will gain a unique global perspective – and the skills they need for jobs in a range of priority industries here and in India.”

The immersion visit aims to prepare our first group of students in the partnership for life in Melbourne, by familiarising themselves with RMIT and Melbourne.

Professor Srinivasan Madapusi, Director of BITS Pilani, Dubai campus, said the visit was extremely valuable.

“We hope that the experience these students gain by visiting Melbourne will lead them to talk about the program with their friends,” he said.

“This first cohort are acting as brand ambassadors for the Academy so if they have good things to say about RMIT and the city, more students will be interested in applying.”

The students’ schedules were jam-packed with exciting activities that exposed them to various aspects of life as a Melbourne-based RMIT student.

One of the highlights of the students’ trip was visiting the MCG and Australian Sports Museum.

The students were taken onto the grounds of the stadium, shown honour boards with Australian and Indian cricket legends and tried their hand at kicking a Sherrin footy in the ‘Game On!’ area of the Museum.

Rachit Soni, a mechanical engineering student, said being able to visit so many famous sporting precincts in Melbourne was a highlight of his trip.

“I’m a massive fan of sports, so being able to visit the MCG, Rod Laver Arena, Albert Park Circuit… it’s been an amazing experience,” he said.

“After these two weeks, I feel like I discovered a lot about the city and how it functions.”

The students were also shown different facilities that RMIT has to offer for its engineering courses.

Vaibhavi Pandey, an electrical engineering (honours) student, said that her interactions with RMIT lecturers and students stood out to her as a major difference to other universities abroad she has visited.

“I’m excited to come to RMIT because every student and every academic I have spoken to here has been so passionate about their work,” she said.

“There’s a big collaborative environment here, instead of a competitive one, which is a major difference to academic settings back home.”

Professor Sudhir Kumar Barai, Director of BITS Pilani, Pilani campus, emphasised the importance of a global experience for any students’ academic career.

“It was a great honour to accompany the students on their first experience of Melbourne and RMIT,” he said.

“International exposure has always been an integral part of education in India and this particular program has been designed and curated in such a way to transform them into true global citizens.”

The Academy is an important part of RMIT’s vision to be a leading university of impact and one that prioritises regional collaboration to empower the people and communities we work with.