Demonstrating that you don’t have to join the Australian Defence Force to study an undergraduate degree at UNSW Canberra, Niruba Ratnavale will graduate this with a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering (Honours).

Niruba attended UNSW Canberra through the Defence Civilian Undergraduate Sponsorship scheme, she followed in the footsteps of her father, who also studied electrical engineering.

She said a vast range of subjects and technical electives helped her identify other interests, such as radars and satellite communications, while the small class sizes were another advantage.

“Since our classes are small, it provides a better interaction between the students and lecturers and it provides a great opportunity for students to learn,” Niruba said.

“It is also much easier to get assistance in tutorials and labs to clear any doubts.”

Niruba said while it was harder for civilian students to get to know the trainee officers, she enjoyed experiencing the culture on campus.

“In the first week there was some segregation, but eventually we all got to know one another and became friends,” she said.

“It was great to be able to know everyone in my year level. It was also great to be a part of Arc (the UNSW student organisation) and organise events for the civilian students on campus.”

The degree helped her secure a position as a Graduate Engineer at Nova Systems.

“I will have the opportunity to work on different projects allowing me to learn new skills and pursue my career,” Niruba said. 


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