Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb today announced the major prize winner of the Government's Win your Future Unlimited competition for international students.
Uttam Kumar, 22, from India, won 12 months study in Australia, return flights, accommodation, a stipend and the opportunity for an internship.
This valuable prize will provide a life-changing opportunity for Mr Kumar, a gifted student who grew up in a village in the north Indian state of Haryana and won a place at the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi.
"International education is an important element of Australia's trading relationship with the rest of the world and is critical for the future of our economy," Mr Robb said.
"The immense international popularity of this competition shows that Australia's educational reputation is up there with the best," he said.
In Australia, Mr Kumar plans to study for his Masters Degree in materials science at the University of NSW, focusing on the development of environmentally friendly fibres.
Win your Future Unlimited attracted 37,000 entries from 190 countries and culminated in a special ceremony in Sydney where Mr Robb also met and congratulated all seven competition finalists, one for each week of the competition.
"They all have an inspiring story and the desire to create a better future by studying in Australia," Mr Robb said.
"Mr Kumar in particular impressed the judges with the clarity, honesty and creativity with which he made his case."
Organised by Austrade, the competition asked students to design a digital postcard explaining how an Australian education could help realise their future dreams.
"The response exceeded our expectations with 850,000 visits to the website and a million views of the competition video," Mr Robb said.
During a two-week study tour of Australia, the finalists were interviewed by an expert judging panel comprising Michael Fox, CEO and Cofounder of Shoes of Prey; Helen Zimmerman, Executive General Manager, Navitas Ltd and President of the International Education Association of Australia; and a senior Austrade executive.
The competition's five gold sponsors were Educational Testing Services (ETS), National Australia Bank, Qantas, Telstra and the University of New South Wales.
Another 21 tertiary education and training providers and corporate sponsors also provided support.
Profile of Uttam Kumar
Intended Course of Study: Masters/PhD in Material Sciences, University of New South Wales
Name of current institution of study: The Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi
- Minister's Office: (02) 6277 7420
- DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555
- Austrade Media: (02) 9392 2873