Australia’s prestigious RMIT (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology) recently initiated a partnership with SAITM (South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine) to make Australian degrees and internships available locally to engineering students at affordable rates.
This strategic partnership comes at a time when the government is striving to position Sri Lanka as an education hub in the Asian region.
Commenting on the venture, RMIT University Vietnam President and General Director Prof. Gael McDonald said: “The programmes offered in Vietnam are cost effective, requires less travel time and are equipped with personalized experiences.” She also stressed on the unique internship opportunity the students will be getting as they become a part of the programme. “RMIT is one of the largest universities in Australia having a strong global presence. For the degrees awarded by RMIT Vietnam, the students are awarded the same degree as what is offered in Australia. Vietnam is a feasible and a cost effective option for students from South Asia.”
McDonald further elaborated: “The agreement with SAITM looks at a credit transfer facility for the students who have already enrolled in an engineering degree at SAITM. Recognizing what the students have already done, we guarantee an opportunity for these students to either be a part of RMIT Vietnam or Australia. Following the completion of their study, students are provided with internship opportunities at leading firms. Vietnam is an emerging country with a six to seven percent economic growth. Hence, companies are looking to hire qualified professionals. These include well recognized companies and multinationals.”
McDonald also added: “Students get a 360 degree training in soft skills that gives them an edge in the corporate world. The soft skill training includes developing an individual’s personal competencies, leadership, team work, dressing for success, managing conflict, well-being, fine-dining, wine appreciation and more skills that a young professional needs to have a grip of to be relevant in the corporate world.”
The University also looks at giving reasonable accommodations for students with learning disabilities such as dyslexia and certain syndromes in making learning accessible for all, through specialized materials.
The collaboration has brought in a host of prospects for new students hoping to be enrolled at SAITM as well as for students already enrolled at the University. Students opting for a foundation course in Engineering or Science and Technology could either study at RMIT Vietnam or Australia and students who prefer a foundation programme in Business following their G.C.E O/L’s can opt for the same.
Some of the options available for these students are Bachelor of Digital Marketing, Bachelor of Tourism, Bachelor of Management, Bachelor in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and a number of other programmes. Further the collaboration also offers a two plus two proposition where students already enrolled in SAITM Engineering programmes would have the opportunity to study the final two years abroad securing an internship within globally competitive markets. The proposition also gives leverage to students who have already qualified as engineers to follow an engineering internship abroad by being part of the university.
RMIT Training Melbourne Australia Chief Executive Officer Rachel Holthouse stated: “Sri Lanka is already being looked at by many giants in the global education industry. The country is recognized to have massive potential to offer quality education to students within the higher education sphere. This collaboration with RMIT and SAITM offers amazing opportunities to students who have an appetite to find themselves in an international degree, with high relevancy. SAITM is a longstanding partner of RMIT. Thus, RMIT also has a very strong presence in Colombo and hence this partnership is opportune to further strengthen the quality of education that SAITM offers to their Engineering and Business students.”
Elaborating further on the SAITM Engineering Faculty, SAITM Sri Lanka Engineering Faculty Dean Prof. Sisuru Sendanayake stated: “It is among the pioneering not-state engineering faculties in Sri Lanka. It has been home to more than 500 engineering students, approximately 40 percent of whom are already into post graduate studies in world renowned universities or employed in leading Engineering firms. SAITM offers unique learning experiences with its Ministry of Higher Education and University Grants Commission (UGC) approved local Engineering degree programmes along with its strong collaborations with world leading universities such as RMIT - Australia and Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) - Thailand.”
The Engineering transfer programmes will commence at SAITM starting from October 2017 and the Foundation Programme will commence from October 2018.