Just before winter break, I visited “the land down under”, while this is a song title from my high school days, it was a pleasure to finally visit Australia. It was also an honor to represent OIS during Monash University’s Career Counselor workshop. Australia is of increasing focus amongst OIS students. After my visit, I left with confidence that this interest will only continue to increase as students look to join Monash’s inspiring and innovative educational community. On Thursday, January 30th, OIS hostedMonash University a workshop involving Mumbai area counselors. Parents and students wishing to get in touch with Monash staff are encouraged to contact Ms. Pinky Desai, our local representative, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monash’s motto is “If you don’t like it, change it!”
During my visit, I saw ample examples of how this high-ranking, “Group of Eight” top research university and Australia’s largest, is producing world-class professionals and continuously improving upon their already exceptional programs and facilities. In fact, Monash is the youngest university to be amongst the top 100 universities worldwide, is the #1 ranked university for engineering, pharmacy, and education degrees, and this year beat out all other Australian universities in securing research funding. Monash’s Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Professor Elizabeth Croft, who is originally from the University of British Columbia (UBC), and their Provost and Senior Vice President, Professor Marc Parlange, has taught and led curriculum development at UBC, Johns Hopkins, and UC Davis before joining Monash in 2017. Prof. Croft is leading the development of Monash’s robotics and new Co-op program. “Designers must have the perspective of the customer base,” declared Prof. Croft as she shared her goal of ensuring that the engineering student base better reflects society’s gender balance. Currently, 24% of Monash’s engineering students are women.
Known for their international and multi-disciplinary focus, Monash’s double degree opportunities are expansive with 39% of students electing to add a 4th honors year to a typical degree program. Students can choose to pursue a degree in architecture while earning a degree in civil engineering. Or, how about paring Applied Data Science with Psychology/Digital Humanities. Within the School of Engineering (entry granted with an IB Predict of 33), students study common courses during the initial year and choose their specialization, often changing their pathway, before their second year.
Monash professors conduct research but their primary focus is teaching. They are in the classroom/lecture hall and intimately engaged in each student’s learning process. New programs for 2020 include Applied 25 25 Data Science, Mechatronics/Robotics, Criminology, and PPE (Philosophy, Politics & Economics) with Biomedical Engineering planned next year. Closely linked with industry trends, Monash is always innovating and investing in its programs and facilities. Ranked amongst other top worldwide universities, Monash has more affordable and accessible programs. Monash's Biological Sciences, for example, is ranked on par with the U of Pennsylvania's program ($51,000+ USD/year) and only a few ranking slots below UBC (Canada) ($29,000+ USD/year), the U of Chicago (U.S.) ($58,000+ USD/year) and U of Edinburgh (U.K.) ($33,000+ USD/year). Monash's program has a minimum entry requirement of 28 IBDP points whereas the other programs range from 32 to 39 IBDP points.
The three campuses, scattered in and close to Melbourne's city-center, are inviting with trendy, well-lit buildings and sustainable landscaping. I felt at home and a sense of calm on each campus. I loved their thoughtful nooks and unique mix of spaces for group and individual learning interspersed with cafes, restaurants, and shops that cater to nearly every student's need from banking services and health care to hair salons.
Monash houses its own heart hospital with a new children’s hospital under development. Their Makerspace, an engineer’s library, is a treasure trove, where I interacted with four competitive student teams: their Nova Rover team placed 14th in the world, the Motorsport team aims to prepare industry-ready students and the High Powered Rocketry team placed 2nd in Australia during their first year of competition, successfully launching rockets at 1.8 mach to 30,000 feet to test micro-gravity impacts and gathering payload research data. The Precious Plastic team designs and fabricates creative materials out of recycled plastics, mentoring local children from area schools. When asked what Monash seeks in a future engineering student, Prof. Croft highlighted the following: Chemistry or Physics, the ability to apply mathematical and scientific skills into everyday life, coding and scripting skills, an aptitude for quantitative and science skills with creativity and design learning being an integral part of success. Students who see ideas and can use their creativity to make something happen, who have strong collaboration skills and are multidisciplinary in focus are sought after. Monash is also developing a new Co-op program to broaden pathways for employment.
Monash is passionate about inclusion and giving back to the community. Students have helped develop sign language for science terminology while computer science and virtual reality is used for therapy, to preserve indigenous cultures, improve access for visually impaired persons and to protect heritage sights. The university will begin offering a new BA of Applied Data Science, adding to its 25 science majors available. To promote multidisciplinary learning, students who are majoring in science can take 8 out of their required 24 courses in complementary fields, thereby adding a minor or second major area of study. An impressive 50% of Monash students elect to pursue double degrees blending liberal arts, creative disciplines, and traditional STEM degrees. Their Global Challenges program blends science, business and industry learning with policy and world impact focus. Students become persuasive leaders and entrepreneurs. The Research Honors program seeks to develop effective consultants and leading scientists. It is impressive to learn that Monash offers double the laboratory time in comparison with other top Australian universities.
For students interested in Medical Science, Monash offers a 5-year Direct Entry program through which after successful completion of a 1-year internship, students can be registered as a doctor. They are ranked 32nd in the world by QS and in 2022 will open the Victorian Heart Hospital on campus. Cardiology is one of their research strengths along with a large genetics program. The ISAT test is required for the 5-year medical program and required face-to-face rolling interviews are scheduled from May to December of each year. To help students prepare, sample questions are available on the testing center’s website. On the Parkville Campus, Monash houses its pharmacy and pharmaceutical science programs – ranked #1 in academic reputation and Top 10 worldwide. Applicants must have an IB predict of 33 with HL Chemistry and Maths. Extremely diverse, international students comprise 30% of the student population. There is also a faculty-wide commitment to innovative, experiential learning and industry partnerships for employability. Law studies are also a wonderful route in Australia as there is no LSAT requirement. Upon completion of 4 years of study, students complete a year of tutelage (internship), after which they may begin practicing law without an exam. Students wishing to serve as a barrister must sit for an exam. Their innovative and application-based IT programs focus on contributing to society and cutting edge tech integration with studies in business information systems, computer networks/security, and others. Accredited by the Australian Computer Society, Monash’s IT certification is recognized in the US, Canada, and the UK. Every business and entrepreneurial-focused student gains industry experience while a broad range of double-degree programs enable students to supplement a commerce or business degree with a complementary faculty and area of strength.
Monash offers admission based on predicted grades to OIS students and has two primary intakes: February and June. IB Course students may also apply with submission of standardized test scores; Monash indicated that a SAT minimum of 1190 was needed. Science bound students are competitive with IB SL math, but HL in either AI or AA math is required for the new Applied Data Science degree program. To meet English Proficiency requirements, students need a 4 in IB English Language/Literature SL and a 3 in HL with higher-level courses requiring one mark higher. International merit and leadership scholarships are also available. In general, students are automatically considered for up to 10,000 AUD in scholarship with full leadership scholarships also awarded annually. Entrance requirements seem rather low given Monash’s reputation for excellence but this is because of their inclusivity and desire to be accessible to the average Australian student. Students interested in studying at Monash should apply for housing by September for the coming year, prior to submitting their application. They can wait to accept the housing offer when enrolment is confirmed.
The opportunities for academic and personal growth go on and on with Monash. They are always innovating and reaching out to industry partners to develop new programs and to ensure that the education they are offering tomorrow’s leaders is cutting edge. OIS encourages students to build their future at Monash in Australia! For a file on each of the major faculties at Monash, please consult this Google Drive and this folder with pictures from the Monash University visit.