University of Auckland offers $20,000 scholarships to make life a breeze for Indian students
New Zealand’s leading university, the University of Auckland, recently announced an extensive range of new scholarships for Indian students, with some worth up to $20,000.
With the Pacific country’s borders now fully open, the university is keen to get Indian students back on campus so has launched more than 200 scholarships, totalling almost NZD $1.5 million, for 2023. Applications for the University of Auckland India High Achievers Scholarship open on 10 October, and both undergraduate and postgraduate students can apply.
The University of Auckland Director International Ainslie Moore says the scholarships will be awarded biannually, with 115 available twice a year. Each cycle will offer five scholarships up to $20,000, 10 up to $10,000 and 100 up to $5,000.
“This is a significant investment for the University of Auckland and we very much look forward to welcoming these top students to Auckland, especially after the past few years of Covid and lockdowns. International students add diversity and richness to our campuses as well as playing a major role in research and in the New Zealand workforce outside the university,” she says.
One student who can vouch for the University of Auckland is Ankeeta Karmakar. Despite never setting foot in Auckland, until a few months ago, she was able to hit the ground running once she arrived in the sub-tropical Pacific city.
Her ease at settling in was due in large part to the support she received from the University of Auckland, where she is studying for a Master of Earthquake Engineering degree. Ankeeta, 28, started her post-graduate studies at UoA in July 2020 while the world was in Covid lockdown. Now, at last, she arrived in Auckland to complete her thesis on campus.
“The programme is actually 18 months long but the University of Auckland was generous and gave me an extra six months to finish,” says Ankeeta, who gained an engineering degree in 2016 from Guwahati University in Assam, her home state in India which borders Bhutan and Bangladesh.
“After that I did a lot of industrial work but I always wanted to do a Master’s degree. The University of Auckland offered such a great programme in earthquake engineering, and was the only place to offer that specifically so I had to give a try.”
Why that particular speciality? “Where I’m from in India we have earthquakes about twice a month. I’ve always feared earthquakes and really wanted to know more about them. When I did my Bachelor’s, I did a course on earthquakes and decided then it was something I wanted to study in depth. The University of Auckland is recognised globally as a leader in geography and geology, particularly around the understanding of earthquakes and volcanoes throughout the world, so it was the obvious choice for me.”
Ankeeta thinks she is the only student from India doing a Master of Earthquake Engineering at the University of Auckland, with many other Indian students focusing on disciplines such as construction management, mechanical or civil engineering.
Her future goal is to complete a PhD and she has just accepted an offer from the University of Auckland. “I begin my PhD later this year, and want to undertake detailed research work and do as much study as I can into earthquake engineering. I want to help make society more resilient towards earthquakes in the future.”
She arrived in Auckland for the first time in April, after flying via Kolkata and Singapore. While all her previous UoA studies were done online from India, she already had a friend group in place once she landed in New Zealand.
“I know a lot of people in Auckland as we’ve being attending Zoom classes online, linking up on Facebook and LinkedIn, and doing study groups together in India. And, as I’ve been doing my research and writing my thesis, I’ve met a lot of the team from UoA who are doing PhDs with my supervisor, Dr Charles Clifton.
“They’ve been helping me out and I was so keen to meet them in person and hang out. The University has been really good at keeping in touch with students off-shore – emailing us regularly, letting us know about the Covid levels, and updating us on what’s happening in Auckland.”
Ankeeta also already knew her way around the campus in Newmarket, where she’ll be based. “Via Google street view, I walked all around the city of Auckland before I arrived, including the university campus.”
That advance knowledge allowed her to choose accommodation in Queen Street in Auckland central, giving her easy access to the University facilities and structural laboratory. And having been part of the Auckland University Students Association (AUSA) online, she is getting involved with AUSA again, only this time she can do so in person.
Engineering definitely runs in the family, as her father is a civil engineer, but Ankeeta also has an artistic side, creating drawings, sketches and mandala art in what little spare time she has.
The University of Auckland’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Strategic Engagement, Dr Erik Lithander, says UoA is delighted to be welcoming top-performing international students like Ankeeta back on campus.
“Covid has been tough on everybody, especially our international students who have been in limbo for so long. We’ve been supporting them every step of the way and it’s so rewarding to now see their happy, smiling faces on campus. There’s nothing quite like the buzz of students rushing between lecture theatres, debating in tutorials, and hanging out in the beautiful Albert Park - it’s what university life is all about.”
Ankeeta agrees: “Everyone here has been very helpful and so generous. The University of Auckland has great courses and faculties, a beautiful campus, and beautiful people. Those four points all come together to make for a wonderful university experience.”
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Watch Ankeeta’s video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ts4yPIlX-5I