Three Indian and one Nepali international student has been named as finalists in the prestigious Victorian International Education Awards 2021-22.
The international student awards recognise and showcase exceptional Victorian international students and alumni who champion international education in Victoria and across the globe.
These awards are an initiative of the Victorian Government to celebrate outstanding international students and education providers in Victoria.
Further, these awards recognise the Victorian Government’s commitment to the education sector and leadership in our community.
Dr Jeetendra Mathur – Finalist in the International Alumnus of the Year
Dr Jeetendra Mathur came to Australia in 2019 to do an MBA (Healthcare Management) at Deakin University. He was also presented with the coveted ‘Indian Achievers’ Award in Healthcare Excellence 2021′ and ‘The 2022 Global Healthcare Award’ for outstanding contribution to the healthcare sector.
Divyangana Sharma – Finalist in the International Student of the Year
Divyangana Sharma came to Melbourne to study nursing at Holmesglen Institute in February 2020. During the COVID-19 crisis, she joined the frontline healthcare workforce by working at pop-up COVID-19 testing sites between classes. She says:
“The cultural diversity, inclusion of LGBTQIA+ community, education opportunities, art and culture is what makes Melbourne a unique city and works like a magnet for people wanting to study abroad.“
Divyangana was also named the International Student of the Year at Holmesglen Institute, which also nominated her for the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics’ Outstanding International Student Award.
Ritika Saxena – Finalist in the International Student of the year (Research)
Ritika Saxena moved to Melbourne as an 18-year-old and is now a PhD student involved in stem cell research. She won the Melbourne Medical School’s Research Symposium 2021 Image Contest. Ritika says:
“When you move to Victoria, you are an international student. But by the time you finish your degree, you will be truly global.“
Ritika has developed the ability to set up complex and exciting experiments to help search for the elusive apex rare haematopoietic stem cell. She is also a part of the Novo Nordisk Foundation Centre for Stem Cell Medicine (reNEW). Her aim is to one day have her own research group and help patients who need a bone marrow transplant.
Aayushree Kharel – Finalist in the International Student of the Year (Regional)
Aayushree Kharel, a plant pathology researcher, is the first person from Nepal to be awarded the Deakin University Vice Chancellor’s International Excellence Award. After completing a Master of Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, she was accepted to study for a PhD, receiving the Deakin University Post Graduate Research Scholarship. Her research topic is focused on understanding plant diseases and how the pathogen and the plant interact. Aayushree also received the best presenter award at the Australasian Plant Pathology Conference in 2021.
The recipient of the ‘Premier’s Award – International Student of the Year’ will receive an additional $10,000 to support their studies. Award winners in each student category, with the exception of the International Alumnus of the Year, will be awarded $6,000 each to support their studies. In addition, up to two runners-up per student category will be awarded $2,000 each.