At the University of Melbourne, Australia’s number one university – according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2015–16 – the best and brightest minds come together from around the globe to achieve incredible things. It has been a centre of learning and research since 1853 and enjoys an outstanding reputation, with world rankings consistently placing it as Australia’s leading comprehensive research-intensive university, as well as one of the world’s top 50 universities in the Academic Ranking of World Universities 2015. It has 10 discipline-specific faculties, five interdisciplinary institutes, and is affiliated with many independent research institutes, teaching hospitals and other institutions.
With Melbourne celebrated by The Economist as the World’s Most Liveable City for five consecutive years – and cited as the world’s second-best student city in a recent QS World University Rankings study – the university represents a golden opportunity for students from far and wide. “Ten or 15 years ago, only 25 per cent of our graduate researchers came from outside Australia,” says Professor Richard Strugnell, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Graduate and International Research) at the University of Melbourne. “These days, it’s around 50 per cent.”
This is, in part, due to the growing appeal of the university’s cutting-edge research infrastructure, which enables innovation, attracts internationally renowned academics, encourages interdisciplinary approaches and promotes collaboration with industry and other partners. “At Melbourne, a research degree is much more than a thesis,” adds Professor Strugnell. “We believe a world-class research environment is a prerequisite for good research training.”
The University of Melbourne attracts significant numbers of research students from Asia, but wants to broaden its intake from Europe, the UK and the Americas. The aim is to have people from many different backgrounds contributing thoughts and ideas. It also offers more than 270 graduate courses, including professional qualifications such as the Juris Doctor (to prepare for a career in law), the Master of Teaching and the Master of Architecture, as well as a broad range of professional development programmes.
The university’s graduate degrees are designed to prepare graduates to be leaders in their field, and to open up a wider range of career opportunities and earning potential. It supports graduate students with training and networking opportunities to help boost their skills and equip them for success in their chosen career.
There are plenty of enticements for overseas students to study at the University of Melbourne, not least of which is the financial support network that’s available to domestic and non-domestic students alike. “We look for the very best students from all over the world and offer many scholarships and financial support options to assist the best and brightest students to join us,” says Professor Strugnell.
The university provides 700 new stipends a year to cover living costs for the duration of a PhD programme, and unsponsored international candidates are usually offered a full fee waiver. “We recognise the contribution research students make to the university and attempt to make research training as affordable as possible for all successful applicants,” says Professor Strugnell, adding that the recent legislative reforms may make it easier for graduates to stay on in the country after the conclusion of their research degrees and to obtain permanent residency. There are also a range of scholarships available for graduate coursework students through the university and specific graduate schools.
At the very top of its game, both domestically and globally, the University of Melbourne is a public-spirited, world-renowned institution where incredible things are achieved and where great minds collide.