Published: 04th August 2018
Meet Australia's youngest Pro-Vice Chancellor, Laurie Pearcey
As UNSW spreads their wings on the Indian sub-continent, we chat up one of the youngest big guns on the varsity block yo find out what he's got on his anvil
The University of New South Wales (UNSW), Australia has a lot to rejoice and so do we. Not only did their Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International) Laurie Pearcey inaugurate their first centre in New Delhi on July 18, they also announced ten new seed funding projects. "We are hopeful that in the coming weeks and months, we will be able to finalise partnerships with Indian institutes," says Pearcey, earnestly.
Pearcey is the youngest Pro-Vice-Chancellor in the Australian higher education sector and one of the youngest university leaders internationally
"India is blessed with abundant young people and a lot of India's economy, social progress and initiatives like Digital India, Make in India and Stand-Up India depends on education," opines Pearcey, who was appointed to his current position at the age of 33. Citing the recent report by Peter Varghese, former Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and former High Commissioner to India — An India Economic Strategy to 2035: Navigating from Potential to Delivery — Pearcey too emphasised that education is truly an important pillar. The report further on goes to state that the Australia-India education relationship should be seen as the 'flagship sector'. In this view, the new office and all the other steps of the UNSW seem to be moving in the right direction.
When we ask Pearcey what makes this Sydney-based institution different, he bravely asks us to look at the facts rather than rely solely on his word. Referring to the International Student Barometer, which tracks expectations and other factors of international students from application to graduation, he says that, "Australian universities have outperformed in terms of the satisfaction of students. With UNSW in particular, 90% of students have expressed their satisfaction as per the report." He also adds that, "even if all the graduates don't turn out to be like Mark Zuckerberg, all companies are looking for graduates who understand innovation and disruption."
We want to provide students the opportunity to benefit from UNSW and make contributions to India, the most ambitious story of the 21st century
Laurie Pearcey, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International), UNSW
Pearcey also doesn't fail to mention their flagship move, the Future to Change scholarships, in lieu of which, annually, 100 of the brightest students from India are given a scholarship to study at UNSW, which holds the 45th rank in the QS World University ranking. Also, the engineers of this institute have developed a new solar cell configuration that had pushed the current conversion efficiency rate. Their Quantum Computing programme and the Arts and Design faculty are also a force to be reckoned with.
Pearcey feels humbled and honoured when it comes to their new centre at New Delhi and thanks the Indian government for their support
In the future, UNSW plans to work closely with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) for the 10th edition of the GRIHA Summit to be held in December. This summit discusses sustainable building policies, techniques and more. Pearcey himself has been to India eleven times in the last three years and admits that he has had preconceived notions about the country, but he has now come to realise that, "India is full of promise and potential for all of humanity and these are exciting times for the country," he concludes.
For more on them, click on unsw.edu.au/