Archive for June, 2013

Higher Study in Australia

Friday, June 7th, 2013

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Md Jahirul Islam

PhD Research Student
School of Electrical and Information Engineering
The University of Sydney, Australia
&
Assistant Professor (On Leave)
Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering (EEE)
Khulna University of Engineering & Technology (KUET)
Khulna, Bangladesh.

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Recently, when I’m being available online in Facebook, Skype or in Yahoo Messenger many of my friends, juniors, students and even few elder brothers used to knock me and want to know about the “Higher Study in Australia”. Please don’t think that I feel bored to answer them. Always I tried to answer and suggest them whatever I could. But sometimes I’ve had to be busy with my research or other works and it might not possible to reply in time. Thus, I realized to write something in this platform. I’ll try to answer the common questions that I was asked several times.

Before starting, I want to say something about the study in Australia. According to The Washington Post www.washingtonpost.com and The Guardian www.guardian.co.uk Australia has rated the best place to live and work for consecutive third years. The scholarship amount and the rate of per hour working time are very much attractive. But, basically the tuition fees http://www.studyinaustralia.gov.au/en/Study-Costs/Fees/Tuition-fees for Masters and PhD level as well as the living cost in Australia are very high. Thus, without scholarship (both tuition fees and living), self-financing is very difficult for most of us except a very few students.

If you decide to continue your higher studies in Australia then read the following steps or you may quit now!!!!!!!!!

There are two semesters in Australia. Semester-1(Most student enrolment) starts in March, application starts from June-August in the previous year. Semester-2(Less enrolment) starts at August, application starts from Jan-March. Thus, for Semester-1 in 2014, application process in ongoing now!!

First of all, the choice of Research Laboratories in different universities in Australia. There are several World top ranked universities in Australia.

Australian

Rank

Institution World
Rank
1 University of Melbourne 37
2 Australian National University 38
3 University of Sydney 58
4 University of Queensland Australia 74
5 Monash University 117
6 University of New South Wales 173
7 University of Western Australia 189
8 University of Adelaide 201-225
9 Macquarie University 226-250
10 University of Wollongong 251-275

The first eight universities altogether are called “Group of Eight” (Go8). The Group of Eight (Go8) is a coalition of leading Australian universities, intensive in research and comprehensive in general and professional education http://www.go8.edu.au. There are other some universities which world ranking varies between 250 to 400. These universities are University of Newcastle, Queensland University of Technology, Charles Darwin University, University of Tasmania, Curtin University, Deakin University, Flinders University, Griffith University, La Trobe University, University of South Australia, Swinburne University of Technology etc. It should be kept in mind that, ranking of the universities is not all; the overall research facilities of the lab in which you wanted to research should be the first condition of choosing the right university for you.

Second, if you’ve chosen a suitable lab that suits with your research attraction, find out the potential supervisors of that lab. Read their profiles carefully and also the link or announcement of their lab/personal website where potential future students are asked to contact. If you satisfy with the research topic of the Faculties write them (e-mail) about your interest of research in an attractive way. Please note that, some universities want higher CGPA in the applicant’s undergraduate level. For example, some programs in The University of Melbourne and Monash University require UG CGPA higher than 3.80!! Don’t be afraid, I’m just waring you that, before mailing to supervisors, be sure about the requirements of the university (searching ‘requirements for future students’ in universities website). Most of the universities asked for IELTS of score 6.5 or TOEFL of 90+. There also some provision to admit without IELTS, under the sub-section ‘Other ways to satisfy English language requirement’. An official statement from your university showing that your undergraduate + masters studies were conducted in English are accepted in some top universities like University of Melbourne, Sydney and so on. IELTS or TOEFL score can be sent later after application. Thus, along with finding supervisor, prepare yourself to sit for these exams.

Now, the most common question is; how to convince supervisors? Or sometimes, I’ve heard to say that, I’ve sent many e-mails and got no reply. Sometimes the writing style of your e-mail, the time of sending and finally your luck depend on to get the reply. We’ve no access to luck, but can do something to get a reply!! I’ve seen that, same professor replied me when I send the same e-mail rather than Friday-Monday. I think, supervisors get a number of e-mails during the weekend and do not read all of them at all. Never send e-mails to professors of same lab at a time. Sending one, wait for a week and if he doesn’t reply then send to others likewise. Here is a snapshot of a sample of e-mail (Enlarge for clear view) what I used to write to supervisors. If you get any response from any supervisor, then he may ask you to write a ‘Research Proposal’. I may discuss later on ‘How to write a research proposal?’…and finally start for applying.

(Note that, this writing is totally based on the procedure I followed during my application to Australia. If you have any suggestion, please let us know, we’ll update as well)

Special thanks to Mottaleb Hossain Liton for his inspiration.