Deakin delivers on India promise as classes begin for GIFT students

Media release

08 July 2024

Deakin University has welcomed its inaugural group of students to its GIFT City Campus in Gujarat, India, with classes starting today at the country’s first-ever international university branch campus.

The foundation group of students are the first to study a Master of Cyber Security (Professional) or Master of Business Analytics qualification on-campus – and on home soil – at GIFT City on India’s west coast.

Deakin’s Vice Chancellor Professor Iain Martin said he was delighted to see the arrival of students on campus.

‘Today, we are delivering on our promise to India as we see our GIFT City Campus come to life with students. Born from an ambitious idea less than two years ago, we’ve achieved the monumental task of building a fully functioning Deakin teaching campus ready for Indian students – a world first,’ Professor Martin said.

‘Deakin’s approach has always been ‘in India, with India, for India’. Without doubt, this is our most significant and proudest moment in the Deakin-India story to date, and an historic milestone in the 30-year relationship we celebrate this semester,’ he said.

GIFT City Campus will teach students under the Australian model of education, with industry placements and partnerships integrated into the curriculum.

‘Our commitment to delivering future-ready education is taken very seriously at Deakin. We’re working with local industry and business to forge strong and meaningful partnerships for our students, ensuring they leave with a world-class education and established networks with some of the world’s top organisations and employers,’ Professor Martin said.

Deakin Vice-President (Global Alliances) and CEO (South Asia) Ms Ravneet Pawha said this was a momentous occasion for the longstanding friendship between India and Australia, and the perfect way to celebrate 30 years of impact in India.

‘I am incredibly proud and excited for this day. This campus defines a new India and what is possible with great friendships and partnerships. New ways of learning, new ways of thinking, and new ways of responding to the needs of an emerging industry and significant need to provide work-ready students, capable of meeting the demands of a new corporate and business landscape,’ Ms Pawha said.

‘We are consciously aligning ourselves and opening doors for our students to the world’s best employers through actively developing content and programs for the corporate sector by listening and responding to what we’re hearing on the ground. I am confident that our students will be some of the most sought-after graduates not just here, but globally,’ she said.

As Deakin’s largest international student cohort, Deakin’s Indian-diaspora alumni is represented by more than 20,000 graduates around the world. Gift City foundation student, Akshita Karlapati, is looking forward to joining the growing Deakin alumni, having relocated more than 1400 kilometres to study Business Analytics at Deakin.

‘It’s not every day you have the chance to be part of history as one of the first students at GIFT City and gain an internationally recognised degree right here in India,’ Karlapati said.

‘I’ve moved across the country already, but I am most excited to think of the possibilities that will open up for me once I complete my studies at Deakin and the places in the world where those qualifications can take me. My dream is to work as a Business Analyst and I know that the education I receive and connections I make at Deakin GIFT City will opens doors and allow me to achieve my biggest of dreams,’ she said.

Media contacts:
Nicole Henden
Senior Coordinator, Media and Corporate Affairs
Deakin University
Ph: +61 426 211 931

Jasmine Bourke
Lead, Media and Corporate Affairs
Deakin University
P: +61 3 5227 3199

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