Graduation celebrated at the highest level
Professor Margaret Gardner AO, President and Vice-Chancellor of Monash University was a special guest at the recent Institute of Technology-Bombay convocation (graduation) ceremony held on August 11th 2018 in Mumbai, India.The guest of honour for the convocation ceremony was the Honourable Mr Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, who delivered an inspiring speech as well as three gold medals and 43 silver medals to students.
Joined by a Monash delegation of senior Monash staff, Professor Gardner witnessed the graduation of 29 PhD students from the IITB-Monash Research Academy joint venture program; five students from the program also received medals from the Prime Minister. The Research Academy is celebrating its 10th year of operation in 2018 and this was the 6th cohort of students to graduate alongside their IITB peers.
Professor Gardner, Deputy Chancellor Shane Buggle and Provost and Senior Vice-President, Professor Marc Parlange formed part of the official academic and VIP procession that sat alongside Prime Minister Modi on the graduation stage as part of the formalities.The IITB-Monash Research Academy joint venture was established in 2008 in recognition of India’s status as an emerging research and global technological powerhouse. It is a collaboration between the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB) and Monash University.
The IITB-Monash Research Academy enables the formation of multi-disciplinary research teams across Australia and India, challenging the traditional individual/discipline-oriented research agenda. The Academy also enables the long-term engagement of industry commitments structured around major research challenges.
The Academy has successfully fostered deeper collaboration across the higher education sector. It has recruited 250 students, launched 420 joint collaborative projects and produced 600 research publications and Industry funded projects to the tune of $14M in committed contracts. The collaboration has also seen a 585% increase in co-publications from 2012 -2017.After the ceremony the Monash delegation hosted an ‘Alumni and Friends’ reception event in Mumbai. Guests included the newly graduated students, Monash and Academy staff and alumni and friends of Monash drawn from government and industry.
Speaking to the group about Monash’s strength in large scale cross-disciplinary research Professor Gardner said, “You can’t do projects of that scale unless you have excellent research. But you don’t do projects on that scale unless you’re prepared to take on big challenges and big challenges mean you have to work across disciplines.”
“…the challenges we’re prepared to put to ourselves (at Monash) are big challenges and we have the excellent people to take on those challenges,” she concluded.
Also speaking at the event was by Dr Murali Sastry, CEO IITB- Monash Research Academy. He joined Professor Gardner is congratulating the new graduates and in highlighting the importance of continued engagement in India. He also encouraged Monash University Alumni to connect with alumni from the Research Academy.