RMIT has launched a summer school program in India — the first Australian university to do so.
Thirty high-performing students and five career counsellors took part in the one-week intensive program in the town of Mussoorie, launched in conjunction with the Australian High Commission.
Professor Peter Smooker, a biotechnology expert and program coordinator for the Master of Biotechnology, and Daniel Oldfield, an RMIT PhD candidate who works as a microscopist and science communicator, led the program.
Smooker said: “My primary role was to deliver courses in a couple of specialist areas.
“Although it was demanding, I got a lot of satisfaction knowing that I was helping to shape the next generation of biotechnologists.”
The RMIT summer school program taught students about biosciences, nanotechnology, microbiology, biophysics, bioinformatics and scientific skills and communication, as well as introducing them to the careers available in science.
“I really enjoy teaching and watching students develop their knowledge and skills over time,” Smooker said.
Oldfield said: “I believe the communication of science to the public can help improve decisions made by governments, corporations and communities.
“This leads to a higher quality of life for everyone.”
The schools that took part were the Kothari International School, MM International School, Suncity International School, Ahlcon International School and Lancers International School, all from Delhi.
There has been a major increase in interest from Indian high school students who are considering studying in Australia.
In Mussoorie, RMIT launched five scholarships a year (valued at $5000 per year) for high-achieving summer school participants who go on to study at RMIT in science, engineering or health.
Story: Hala Khartabil