University of Auckland offers new scholarships for Indian students

Indian student Ankeeta Karmakar recounts her pleasant experience

Ankeeta Karmakar, a postgraduate in Earthquake Engineering, working towards a PhD (Jake Dennis Photography)

Venkat Raman
Auckland, September 25, 2022

The University of Auckland has announced new scholarships for Indian students.

The 2023 scholarships, valued at  $20,000, are a part of more than 200 scholarships being offered by the University at a total value of $1.5 million.

Applications for the University of Auckland India High Achievers Scholarship open on 10 October, and both undergraduate and postgraduate students can apply.

University of Auckland Director International Ainslie Moore said that the scholarships will be awarded biannually, with 115 available twice a year.

Each cycle will offer five scholarships up to $20,000, ten scholarships up to $10,000 and 100 scholarships up to $5000.

“This is a significant investment for the University of Auckland and we look forward to welcoming these top students to Auckland, especially after the past few years of Covid and lockdowns. International students add diversity and richness to our campuses as well as play a major role in research and the New Zealand workforce outside the university,” she said.

About Ankeeta Karmakar

Ankeeta Karmakar, who is a student from India, said that she was able to settle in Auckland with ease, largely due to the support from the University of Auckland, where she is studying for a Master of Earthquake Engineering degree.

The 28-year-old student gained her degree in Engineering from Guwahati University in the North-eastern State of Assam in India in 2016. She started her post-graduate studies at the University of Auckland in July 2020 while the world was in Covid lockdown and hence could travel to New Zealand only recently to complete her thesis.

She said that the Programme is for 18 months but the University of Auckland granted her six more months to finish.

“After my graduation, I did industrial work but I always wanted to do a Master’s degree. The University of Auckland offered such a great programme in Earthquake Engineering and was the only place to offer that specifically so I had to try,” Ankeeta said.

Why that particular speciality?

“We experience earthquakes twice a month native place. I have always feared earthquakes and wanted to know more about them. When I did my Bachelor’s degree, I did a course on earthquakes and decided it was a subject that I wanted to study in depth. The University of Auckland is recognised globally as a leader in geography and geology, particularly in the understanding of earthquakes and volcanoes throughout the world. So,  it was the obvious choice for me.”

A unique student

Ankeeta thinks that she is the only student from India doing a Master of Earthquake Engineering at the University of Auckland, since many Indian students focus on disciplines such as Construction Management, Mechanical or Civil Engineering.

Her goal is to complete a PhD and hence accepted an offer from the University of Auckland.

“I will begin my PhD (under her Supervisor Dr Charles Clifton) later this year and want to undertake the detailed study. I want to help make society more resilient toward earthquakes in the future,” she said.

Ankeeta appreciated the support she received from the University of Auckland while she was in India and since her arrival in Auckland.

“The University has been good at keeping in touch with students offshore, emailing us regularly, letting us know about the Covid levels, and updating us on what was happening here. I ‘walked all over Auckland’ through Google Maps before I arrived, including the University campus,” she said.

That advance knowledge allowed her to choose accommodation in Queen Street in Auckland Central, giving her easy access to the University facilities and structural laboratory. And having been part of the Auckland University Students Association online, she is involved with its activities in person.

University support

University Deputy Vice-Chancellor Strategic Engagement) Dr Erik Lithander said that the Institution is delighted to welcome top-performing international students like Ankeeta.

“Covid has been tough on everybody, especially our international students who have been in limbo for so long. We have been supporting them every step of the way and it is rewarding to now see their happy, smiling faces on campus. There is nothing like the buzz of students rushing between lecture theatres, debating in tutorials, and hanging out in the beautiful Albert Park – it is what university life is all about.”

Ankeeta agreed, saying, “Everyone here has been very helpful and so generous. The University of Auckland has great courses and faculties, a beautiful campus, and beautiful people. Those four points all come together to make for a wonderful university experience.”

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