Ravneet Pahwa Leads the Growth of Australian University in India

by October 25, 2018 0 comments

The Deputy Vice President (Global) and CEO-South Asia of the Deakin University, Ravneet Pahwa is leading the growth of the Australian University in India and established it as the first choice for higher education among Indian students
The pioneering work in India of Deakin’s South Asia office has been recognised by the India Australia Business and Community Awards (IABCA), which presented the award for ‘Business Leader Professional of the Year’ to Ravneet Pawha. The IABCA, dedicated to celebrating the Australia-India relationship while honouring entrepreneurship and community leadership, awarded the honour to Pawha on October 12, during a ceremony in Brisbane, Australia which was attended by the Indian business and community leaders, prominent officials including the High Commissioner of India to Australia, Dr Ajay Gondane and Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Marise Payne.

The award recognises the key leadership role of Pawha, who has overseen a large expansion of key industry partnerships, developed the University’s largest international PhD program and a huge growth in student numbers coming from India.

In 1994 Deakin became the first Australian university to open an office in India, with Pawha leading that office from its very inception and overseeing its growth and development. She has been instrumental in establishing innovative strategic partnerships for the University which have successfully united the Australian higher education with the Indian popular culture. This includes unique scholarship programs with media houses and multifaceted partnerships with Indian premier league teams.

On receiving the award, Pawha said, “This award recognises Deakin’s efforts in India towards education for jobs of the future and initiatives for the communities we serve. It is indeed an honour to be felicitated on such a big platform. The award belongs to the highly-committed Deakin India team in New Delhi. We endeavour to continue our mission with passion, persistence and people to people connect.”

The leadership role of Pawha in Australian higher education in India became particularly apparent in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, which saw massive drops in Indian student enrollment in Australian universities. Recognising the scale of the challenge at hand, she made adjustments to Deakin’s strategic focus in India, placing greater emphasis on partnership development while waiting for market forces to stabilise. These efforts led to a sea change in Deakin’s partnership engagement in India and resulted in threefold benefits of furthering the University’s aims as a research institution; developing brand awareness among key players in India, and set the stage for improved student recruitment that leveraged the partnerships.

Deakin University has now emerged as a market leader in India and students from the country represent the largest international cohort at this Australian university. One of the key strategic project spearheaded by Pawha is the Deakin India Research Initiative (DIRI), which was established to strengthen research activities and partnerships in India with a view to bridging the gap between academia and industry. Through DIRI, Deakin has established more than 100 projects involving over 100 PhD students and more than 50 industry, academic, and government partners in India. This includes the $15-million TERI-Deakin Nano-Biotechnology research facility in India, often cited as a standout example of India-Australia collaboration.

Writer and Courtesy: The Pioneer

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