'Is it safe to study in Australia?'

Study Abroad

'Is it safe to study in Australia?'

Raja ReddyDear sir,

I am currently doing my final year engineering in Biotechnology. I want to do post graduation in the same field. Will MTech in biotechnology help from employment point of view? Please suggest me some good recognised universities in India/Abroad which offer courses in biotechnology. Please also let me know their selection and eligibility criteria.


Dear Anonymous,

First, focus on attaining good grades in your engineering finals. Not only at this point of time but for future also it is important that you add a specialised qualification after your basic engineering degree in biotechnology. There are many categories of specialisations.

Being an engineering graduate you can also get in to Agriculture, Veterinary, Chemical, Food & Nutrition, etc. Work out which field you want to specialise in.

Institutions in India offering these courses are CFTRI, Mysore; Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) Hyderabad; Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, (IICT), Hyderabad; IARI, Delhi; National Institute of Nutrition, etc. There are courses offered by Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and some IIT’s. Be very sure of your choice. There is a combined Bio-Technology Entrance Examination held in May every year for admission to MSc (biotechnology) MSc Agri/MVSc (biotechnology)  and M Tech (biotechnology). You can get more information by logging on to the following websites: www.biotech.co.in, www.bioinfo.ernet.in

Having a four years engineering degree you have a perfect platform to launch in to specialised fields of Biotechnology. Scoring well in the GRE (www.gre.org) and TOEFL (www.toefl.org) or IELTS will make you eligible to pursue higher education in several countries abroad. My suggestion would be Universities in USA who have the flexibility to allow you to specialise in the field of your choice. Some of the top Universities that offer courses are John Hopkins University, Georgia Institute of Technology, University of California, University of Washington, University of Pennsylvania, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Boston University. Log on to their websites for more details. Several universities in Australia also offer courses in this field. Log on to www.infozee.com www.gradschools.com for more details.

Dear sir,

As I have completed my engineering in Electrical and Electronics Engg in 2008. I want to do my masters in Aeronautical Engineering, can I do it in India? Or will I have to go to the US for it. I wanted to know about the universities which offer these and how I can avail the scholarship’s offered by these universities.


Dear Sandeep,

Aeronautical engineering is offered at the master’s level as ME or MTech in several institutions here in India. The most prominent of these are IISC, some IIT’s and NIT’s. In addition, several private engineering institutions also offer the same.

Most of these institutions offer strong theoretical foundation rather than the combination of theory and applications. Hence if you are passionate about wanting to be in the applications area of aeronautics US would be a better destination. In order to avail any kind of financial assistance by way of scholarship, assistantship or fee waiver one has to be a top performer in academics in the undergraduate course.

Also a score of 1350+ in GRE and 250+ in TOEFL increases the chance of obtaining the financial assistance of any kind.

Dear sir,

I have completed my PUC with 91% in PCM. I plan to join engineering by pursuing either mechanical, ECE or Telecommunication. I want to do my MS in the US. What should I do?
Start for GRE now or is there any other entrance for taking up MS in the US? Also please tell me about the fees structure, aid and cut off marks in GRE.

Karthik T

Dear Karthik,

While choosing specific stream of engineering be sure of your choice. You have chosen mechanical, which is the basic stream and is considered mother of all engineering streams. It takes you in to any specialised stream at master’s level. Electronics and Communication engineering and telecommunication are specialised streams of engineering. Be sure of what you have aptitude and interest for, especially since you want to do your master’s programme in US. For now focus on your academics and keep your performance level high in every semester. You can think of taking up GRE and TOEFL while you are in your 5th or 6th semester.

Other than these two there are no other entrance requirements to clear. You would need good recommendation letters from your professors. A powerful and convincing statement of purpose is also a necessity. There is no such cut off score for GRE and TOEFL in general. Depending on the popularity of each university they decide on the cutoff score. A score of 1350+ in GRE and 250+ in TOEFL helps in getting in to some of the top universities and even chance of obtaining the financial assistance of any kind.

Four years from now when you graduate it is difficult to predict the cost of education.

As of now the tuition fee per year would be between Rs 7.5 to 12 lakhs and the living expenditure would be about Rs 5 to 8 lakhs. Most Indian students live in shared accommodation and also pool the transport, which helps in economising. Some part of living expenditure could be recovered from the legally allowed 20 hours of work per week.

Dear sir,

I’ve completed my third year BE in electronics and communication with aggregate of 78%. My aim was to do post graduation in Australia. But because of this increasing racism my parents and other family members are not willing me to send there. I wanted to know whether New zealand is a better option and alternative instead of Australia for my course. Please help me out.


Dear Raj,

I understand the anxiety of your parents particularly in the after math of all the racial disturbances against Indian students. The incidents have been blown out of proportion in the media, though the occurrence of such incidents cannot be questioned.

There are more than 40,000 students who are studying in Australia and what we hear about are but a few incidents. Also it is a vast country with a thin density of population.

Hence such news gets a lot of importance in the media. For a student who is focused on higher education and has good emotional intelligence and common sense, avoiding such racially discriminatory experiences will not be an issue. Any body wanting to go abroad and study has to have necessary social skills to adjust to the new environment and people. The whole purpose of studying abroad is to get wider exposure to not only technology but also to develop people skills. Just because of few stray incidents totally avoiding going to a country is an action that needs more thought. More over, the authorities are very cooperative and security systems are well placed. However, if you still decide not to displease your parents, your next choice of New Zealand for your further education in engineering is also a good one.

Be aware that there are other destinations all over the world for you to choose from.

Indian students going to New Zealand are increasing year by year and currently the number is sizeable, though not compared to Australia. The intake in universities is in February and July. Since you will be graduating in 2010 you can aim to join in February of 2011. The cost of education works out to between Rs 5 to 7 lakhs and living expenditure between Rs 3 to 4 lakhs. You have the option to work for 20 hours a week which may come in handy to reduce the cost of living. Anyone pursuing a 12 month course or longer will be permitted to work full time over the summer holidays which will reduce the financial burden a little. You may browse through www.mynzed.com or www.educationnz.org.nz or write to edunz.india@nzte.govt.nz for more information.

Research all possible destinations before you narrow down your choices. In the present scenario, education abroad has immense possibilities for those who can afford it.

Which ever be the country may of your choice, there will be some social challenges to face. If you face them and are able to overcome, you will be the winner.

The author is the Director of Banjara Academy and Coordinator of Helping Hand, a free counselling centre.
‘Study Abroad’ is a tri-weekly column. Email your queries to dheducation@deccanhearld.co.in with ‘Study Abroad’ as the subject line.

Comments (+)