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Excellence awards for Otago postgraduates

Tuesday, 8 August 2017 9:22pm

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Reaping the benefits of an inaugural New Zealand Excellence Award are Otago postgraduate students (from left) Guru Sundaram, Badsha Chandra, Riju Sinha and Prabhat Maruvada. Photo: Sharron Bennett.

Four Otago postgraduate students are among 31 New Zealand university students from India to benefit from a new award.

Badsha Chandra, Prabhat Maruvada, Guru Sundaram and Riju Sinha were each awarded a 2017 New Zealand Excellence Award and $5000 towards their first year of study.

Education New Zealand Chief Executive Grant McPherson says India is a core trade, economic, political and education partner for New Zealand, with two-way trade valued at around $2.5 billion.

"These top young scholars will further strengthen ties between our two countries, by contributing to a broader exchange of ideas in our universities, building our respective research capabilities, and enriching New Zealand culture."

“These top young scholars will further strengthen ties between our two countries, by contributing to a broader exchange of ideas in our universities, building our respective research capabilities, and enriching New Zealand culture.”

Last year, more than 28,000 Indian students came to study in New Zealand, making India the second largest source of international students. Indian student enrolments at New Zealand universities are continuing to increase each year, reflecting a market trend towards higher level qualifications.

Last week’s awards were for students pursuing undergraduate or postgraduate studies in New Zealand in the fields of business, design or STEM-related programmes (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

All four Otago recipients started postgraduate-level study at Otago this year.

Badsha is undertaking a Master of Business Data Science and said the one-year nature of the Otago degree and helpful supervisors were what had led him to Otago.

Prabhat also found the quality of supervision in Zoology, where he is a quarter of the way through a Master of Science research degree, a compelling reason to choose Otago. The faculty and support were “really good”, he added.

For Riju, who is working on a Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration, the ranking and reputation of Otago drew him south, while for Guru, who is working on a Master of Business Administration, the recognition of the MBA nationally was an added attraction.