by Robert Balan
Studying a Master’s degree abroad is a popular choice for students who want to explore new countries and cultures while improving their personal and professional skills. Australia is one of the top study destinations worldwide, with Melbourne being one of the most popular cities in the country, attracting over 90,000 international students every year.
But what makes Melbourne, Victoria state’s capital, so popular? And why do so many foreign students choose STEM subjects for their degree studies?
What is STEM?
To understand its popularity, we must first look at what STEM stands for. STEM is an interdisciplinary educational approach, which focuses on subjects related to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. The practical, hands-on study methodology make STEM degrees stand out in the education field.
STEM studies help students develop skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking and analysis, communication, decision-making, and digital literacy.
Popular universities in Victoria offering STEM Master’s degrees:
- Australian Catholic University
- Deakin University
- Federation University Australia
- La Trobe University
- Monash University
- RMIT University
- Swinburne University of Technology
- The University of Melbourne
- Victoria University
But which are the top reasons why students apply for STEM courses in Victoria?
1. Study in top-quality universities
Universities in the state of Victoria stand out through their modern study programmes taught in English, which attract foreign students from all over the world. Future graduates have access to cutting-edge facilities and resources, enabling them to gain knowledge and put it into practice as well. University staff are well prepared to support these international students and to take their needs into consideration.
Higher education institutions in Victoria prepare students for successful careers through their collaboration with business and companies from large industries (tech, pharmaceutical, etc.). Through this collaboration, universities discover the key skills employers are looking for and adapt their curricula and courses to prepare students for the work market.
Top facts about universities in Victoria
- The research expertise offered by Victoria’s universities was rated as ‘above world standard’ across over 90 disciplines in the Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) rankings.
- Deakin University, Monash University, and the University of Melbourne perform above the world standards in fields such as Engineering & Technology and Life & Health Sciences.
- 6 of Victoria’s 10 universities appear in the world’s best universities rankings (The University of Melbourne – 32nd in Times Higher Education University Rankings 2017-2018, Monash University – 2nd world leader in Pharmacy & Pharmacology in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2018).
You can find courses and scholarship opportunities in Victoria with StudyMelbourne.
2. Victoria is a leader in STEM fields
Victoria’s technological advancement and highly developed infrastructure have transformed the region into a thriving leader in STEM fields. Bellow, you’ll find a list of the most important ones.
- There are over 8,000 ICT (Information & Communications Technology) companies in Victoria, including big names like Microsoft, Intel, and IBM.
- Victoria’s key strengths are: software development, cloud technology, digital games, mobility technology, social networks, and data analytics.
- Melbourne’s cloud hub is the largest in the Asia-Pacific.
Medical technologies, biotechnology & pharmaceuticals
- Melbourne is a global hub of immunology excellence.
- Over 4,7000 researchers focus on finding cures for infectious & inflammatory diseases.
- Over 1,000 medtech companies are looking for STEM graduates to take them to the next level.
New energy and methodology
- Victoria offers world-class renewable energy sources: wind, solar, marine, and biofuels.
- The region constantly strives to add momentum to the clean energy trend.
Agriculture & food processing
- Victoria produces over 30% of Australia’s food.
- It uses state of the art facilities and modern food safety systems.
3. World-class education and research infrastructure
The research institutions in Victoria offer state of the art facilities and training. They focus on solving important problems affecting the environment and our society, like:
- Reducing greenhouse gases
- Developing and enhancing drugs that can cure life-threatening diseases
- Growing the economic and social performance of societies
- Creating new materials by using nanotechnology
- Improving forensic investigations and archaeological digs
If you’re interested in researching, enjoy lab work, and want to make the world a better place, Melbourne offers all the resources you need. You can take advantage of them throughout your Master’s degree, and especially during a Ph.D. programme, where research will be the basis of your work.
Some of the top research institutions are Melbourne Bioinformatics, CSIRO, and the Institute for Frontier Materials (IFM). These institutes and Victoria’s universities collaborate with the Australian Synchrotron, a world-class national research facility.
The collaboration allows institutes to improve their research, speed up product innovation, share information and resources, and come up with solutions to real-world problems, like Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and other non-health related issues.
4. Melbourne is a great city for tech
Students who choose STEM courses are obviously passionate about technology. Your passion is shared by many researchers and people from various fields, who believe that technology can solve most of the world’s major problems.
This is why you’ll love studying and living in Melbourne, a true tech city, which outranked Seoul (Samsung’s home) and Shenzhen (China’s tech capital) in the Tech Cities in Motion 2019 report created by Savills UK.
The criteria used for creating the report were:
- Business environment (investments, how easy it is to start a business, business costs)
- Tech environment (the size of the tech sector, tech infrastructure)
- City buzz & wellness (costs of living, city wellness)
- Talent pool (higher education, city youthfulness)
- Real estate costs (costs of renting, costs of coworking space)
- Mobility (quality of urban infrastructure, metro system)
Based on these factors, Melbourne was ranked on the 22nd place, ahead of Seoul 23rd and Shenzhen 24th.
5. A strong economy
Victoria is a key contributor to Australia's status as the 13th largest economy in the world. Representing only three per cent of Australia's total land mass and accounting for nearly a quarter of economic activity, Victoria competes with the largest economies in South East Asia.
Victoria’s thriving economy outstripped the national economies of Singapore, Hong Kong, and New Zealand in 2016-2017. This impressive economic growth makes Victoria an attractive location for both national and international companies.
Some of the biggest international companies present in Melbourne are IBM, Siemens, Toll Group, and Synnex. These enterprises are always looking for fresh STEM graduates with relevant skills for their various departments and open positions.
6. An active start-up ecosystem
Melbourne is a great study destination if you want to start your own business after graduation. There are over 2,700 start-ups in Victoria, and the number is growing by 23% every year. The most important factor behind this impressive development is LaunchVic.
LaunchVic is a development agency that offers support to entrepreneurs and business people. The agency aims to help start-ups grow sustainably and have a positive impact on the local economy and society. If you’re a visionary looking to make a change in our society, Launchvic will help you turn your dreams into reality.
Find out more about Launch Victoria and how you can start your own successful business.
7. Support for international students
While outranking Seoul and Shenzhen would be enough for most cities, this wasn’t the case for Melbourne. In the QS Best Student Cities 2018, Victoria’s capital was voted the best student city in Australia and the 3rd in the entire world.
The city is also proud of its StudyMelbourne Student Centre. The institution offers free support to all international students. If you have a question regarding accommodation, employment, health or legal issues, this is the place to go.
Providing this kind of help is highly appreciated by foreign students. Moving abroad and studying in a different country isn’t a walk in the park. Having the right information can save students a lot of time and hassle.
Learn more about Melbourne from people who studied there
- Amanda Lee – Biochemistry & Cell Biology
- Wai Hong Fong – Co-founder of StoreHub
- Balaji Trichy Narayanaswamy - Metallurgy
- Jirayut Propen - Medicine
- Chenkai Ma - Medical Research
Ready to start your STEM degree in Melbourne?
The Victoria region captures all the best things about the beautiful Australian continent. Its capital city offers some of the best living and studying conditions and that’s why international students choose Melbourne for their STEM studies. If you’ve already decided you want to enrol in a STEM degree abroad, don’t hesitate to go through the study programmes available in Melbourne and choose the best one for you.
Best of luck and have a great learning experience!