Published: 09th March 2020
IoT, Big Data, AI are what most Indian students opt for: Suman Subbaian, James Cook University
We spoke to James Cook University Singapore's regional manager to find out more about their courses and what Indian students should look out for even in these times of Coronavirus panic
With more than 300 courses being offered from all the three campuses, James Cook University provides an array of opportunities for students from across the world. JCU is a public university in North Queensland, Australia. The university's main campuses are located in the tropical cities of Cairns and Townsville, and one in the city state of Singapore. We got a chance to interact with Suman Subbaian, Regional Manager, JCU, Singapore when he was in Chennai to meet aspiring students. Here's what transpired:
Coming to the most relevant topic now, how do you think the Coronavirus outbreak will affect the students choosing to study abroad?
In regards with the current situation on COVID-19, the life in Singapore is back to normal. The nation’s aggressive approach to stamp out and reduce the spread of the virus from the word go was essential in ensuring that the situation is contained. While there was a situation of panic in the beginning, the nation soon realised that the effort to leave no stone unturned was necessary to ensure the safety of all the people in Singapore. The experience gained from SARS resulted in 900 clinics island-wide being trained for similar incidents. These 900 Public Health Preparedness Clinics (PHPCs) have since been activated to attend to any and all who were down with cough, cold and fever. JCU is concerned for the well-being of our students. In support of government efforts, daily temperature checks are in place to ensure that all students are well. We are constantly engaging students to keep them aware of the situation. Students who are unwell are advised to seek medical attention at the nearest PHPC.
What is JCU doing to help its students in this regard?
We have converted face-to-face learning to online learning to facilitate our existing students as well as the ones who will join in the few months. We will continue with this until the pandemic is declared as not a matter of concern anymore. If the spread of the virus is contained in a month we will stop these online classes in two weeks' time, we begin from March 16. We have plans to continue this if the situation doesn't get any better.
What do aspiring students look out for when they apply for a course at JCU? What does the Singapore campus offer?
The Singapore campus has limited seats and focuses mainly in giving opportunities to South East Asian students. Business and Information Technology are the subjects that attract more number of students. We run a lot of value addition activities as well for Indian students, one of them is the JCU scholarship test in IIT Madras, which has been held for last 11 years. And this year we will conduct it twice — April and August. We also have an academic engagement session — bringing in faculty to India to provide a better perspective about the courses and the university to the students who are aspiring to study at JCU. The experience class is delivered in Singapore where we are inviting prospective students to come and observe, be a part of of these sessions and then decide if it's a good fit for them.
What are the courses that attract more number of Indian students?
At this moment, business programmes, science programmes namely IT, Internet of things (IoT), Data Sciences, Big Data and Artificial Intelligence are the ones where the majority of Indian students opt for. We also offer Accounting, Economics at the Singapore campus. Psychology on a bachelor's level is also offered, which is comparatively a new course being offered at the Singapore campus.
What are the job opportunities like for Indian students after they have completed a course at JCU?
Currently, we have started new master's degree programmes in MBA, which have certain cap-stoned subjects that will act as a feeder for employment opportunities. These include real time opportunities with the industry in the form of internships, but it's optional and a student can choose to opt for it. We look forward to an increase in demands for these subjects in the context of Indian students. For example Talent management, so we have industry connections in banking, hospitality, human resources, and more. These are available for students to gain skill-based knowledge and then translate that into job opportunities.