In India, with India, for India: Deakin to open world-first campus

Media release

09 March 2023

Deakin will become the first university in the world to open an international teaching campus in India.

The state-of-the-art campus in the heart of the smart business district GIFT City (Gujarat International Finance Tec-City) will give students access to future-ready Deakin postgraduate courses aligned with local employment needs.

The campus will open as early as possible and by no later than mid-2024, the same year Deakin celebrates its 50th anniversary and 30 years in India. The international campus will deliver job-ready graduates to meet India’s soaring labour demands and bolster Deakin’s commitment to providing a world-class education and learning experience for students around the globe.

Deakin Vice-Chancellor Professor Iain Martin said Deakin has a long and proud history in India.

“Deakin was the first international university to establish its presence in India in 1994, and since then, through innovative collaborations across research, education and training, we have forged a bond based on commitment, excellence, trust and transparency,” Professor Martin said.

“Our India partnership is one of the jewels in the crown of our growth and success over the almost 50 years of Deakin’s existence from humble beginnings on a green field site at Waurn Ponds in 1974.

“Back in 1893, Alfred Deakin – the Australian Prime Minister for whom our university is named – predicted that students from Australia and India would traverse international borders and form lasting intellectual partnerships:

“We are near enough to readily visit India and be visited. Its students might come to the universities of our milder climate, instead of facing the winters of Oxford, Paris, or Heidelberg. Our thinkers may yet become authorities upon questions which need personal acquaintance with India and its peoples.

We may hold it to be inevitable, as well as natural, that one of the first outward going movements of our expansive Australian life will bring us into contact, and then into communion, with India.”

(Alfred Deakin, Irrigated India, 1893)

“Perhaps it’s taken a little longer than Alfred Deakin expected, but through the dedicated work of Government, academia and industry, today’s historic announcement takes our partnership to an entirely new level,” Professor Martin said.

Professor Martin said Deakin’s approach was ‘in India, with India, for India’ and that as the university prepared to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2024, opening a new India campus marked an exciting new chapter.

“This is a historic opportunity to deepen our engagement with one of the world’s fastest-growing economies and open up access to our world-class education and pathways, delivered in India by Deakin alongside our industry partners,” he said.

“Last night, I joined our Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Deakin’s Chancellor Mr John Stanhope AM, and many distinguished guests in Ahmedabad to formally announce this exciting initiative.”

Deakin Vice-President (Global Alliances) and CEO (South Asia) Ms Ravneet Pawha said it was a “momentous occasion for Australia and India”.

“We are thrilled to have contributed to two ‘firsts’ in the Australia-India education sector story; Deakin being the first international university in India in 1994, and now the first university in the world to open a teaching campus,” Ms Pawha said.

“The new campus aims to provide a world-class post-graduate education to meet the industry’s skilled workforce demands within the country.”

The India campus will provide better opportunities for local students who cannot afford to travel and live in Australia to study.

Concentrating on the needs of the digital economy, Deakin’s world-class course offerings on campus will initially include the Master of Cyber Security and Master of Business Analytics, before expanding to degrees from the faculties of Science, Engineering & Built Environment, and Business & Law.

The campus will operate on the basis that standards and requirements are equivalent to those at Deakin’s campuses in Australia (Burwood, Geelong Waterfront, Waurn Ponds and Warrnambool). Students will receive the same standard of higher education in GIFT City as in Australia, with academic standards based on Deakin’s standards frameworks and manuals aligned with Australia’s national accreditation body, the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA).

The campus will also work closely with corporate leaders collocated at GIFT City for cadetship and employment opportunities for Indian students and to ensure courses align with the requirements of local employers.

Deakin has contributed over AUD 50 million in India through scholarships, research fellowships, community projects, and collaborative research. The Australia-India Economic Strategy 2035, released in 2018, cited Deakin as an ‘ideal collaborator’ with India. Over almost three decades, Deakin has developed strategic partnerships with India’s premier research organisations, businesses and academic institutions.



About Deakin University: Established in 1974, Deakin is one of Australia’s most progressive and agile universities, leading in the innovative use of digital technologies and online learning, and blending this capability across its distinctive campus precincts in Melbourne, Geelong, and Warrnambool. Deakin has achieved a balance of high-quality research with an education experience that is consistently rated as one of the best in the country.

Deakin is committed to lifelong learning and graduate employment outcomes. It provides opportunities and access for learners at all stages of their lives and careers, working with partners, both locally and internationally, to enable flexible and non-traditional pathways into education.

Deakin has a thriving research culture known for its multidisciplinary collaborations. The ideas generated form the basis for new and improved products and services that deliver significant social and economic benefits.

  • Ranked among the Top 1% of universities in the world
  • Ranked in the Top 50 young universities in the world
  • Rated number one for student satisfaction in Victoria for 13 consecutive years
  • Number one ranked university careers service in Australia for two years in a row
  • Ranked 1st in the world for Sport Science, 20th for Nursing, 31st for Education
  • 100% of research is rated ‘at or above’ world standard

Deakin’s collaborations emphasise mutually beneficial partnerships and real-world impact in areas of high national priority, including health and wellbeing, smarter technologies, sustainability, advancing society and culture, and building safe and secure communities.

The University’s industry precincts provide an important link between technological innovation and successful industry outcomes. They support collaboration and sustainable job growth, foster entrepreneurship and streamline pathways for commercial research.

Deakin delivers impact locally and globally, with partnerships in 57 countries and offices in China, India, Latin America, Europe, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Pakistan, and Singapore.

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