University of Technology Sydney

Australian journalism students to have a unique Indian experience

November 25, 2019

Five undergraduate Journalism students from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) are collaborating with Indian students at the IIJNM, Bangalore as part of the UTS Foreign Correspondent Study Tour (FSCT).

Funded by the Australian Government’s New Colombo Plan, the FCST will allow Australian undergraduate journalism students to visit local broadcast studios and newspaper offices while learning about the changing demography and economy of Bangalore.

Conceived and led by Professor Saba Bebawi from UTS, the first batch of FCST students went to Jordan in 2015, funded by the Council for Australian Arab Relations (CAAR) from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and has since expanded to Tunisia, the Philippines and India.

Comments Prof. Bebawi, director of FCST, “The FCST first began in 2015 after 10 years of dreaming of taking my students to Jordan where I was a journalist – today our growth is exciting, and it is amazing to see how a small idea in my head has become a big reality!”

“The idea behind the FCST is to discover the “happy” stories of people from the non-Western world – to show Australians that people are the same everywhere and have similar problems. In fact, people from the developing world might have solutions to problems we all face that we could learn from,” adds Prof. Bebawi.

Leading the tour are Professor Devleena Ghosh,  professor of Social and Political Sciences Program and Denby Weller from UTS.  Prof. Ghosh teaches in the Social Inquiry programme at UTS and sits on several advisory panels for the Australian Federal and NSW state governments in areas relevant to the Indian community. Weller, a distinguished Australian multimedia journalist and lecturer at UTS, is also accompanying the students to Bangalore.

“This immersive experience is invaluable for our students offering unique international study experience outside the classroom,” says Weller. “It will be highly regarded by future media employers.”

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for future journalists from India and Australia to collaborate and share their knowledge and experiences,” says Kanchan Kaur, dean of IIJNM. “Students from IIJNM will study with the UTS students, sharing local knowledge and context to encourage collaboration and build new networks. This kind of experience is truly life-changing for students.”

The India FCST is scheduled from 16-30 November while the Philippines tour (also funded by the New Colombo Plan) is scheduled from November 23 to December 7. A study tour for postgraduate students funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade was conducted in Tunisia from 10-20 November. 

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