Education Minister Jason Clare is leading a delegation of a dozen Australian vice-chancellors on an official visit to India to promote institutional partnerships and boost collaboration between the two countries.
Rules for mutually recognising university qualifications in India and Australia are set to be agreed upon in the upcoming visit.
Indian Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Dharmendra Pradhan had multilayered discussions with his Australian counterpart on his last year’s Australia visit. Talking to The Australia Today Minister Pradhan had categorised skill recognition as the core to India-Australia education collaboration
Today, Minister Clare in a statement said,
“Minister Pradhan and I will sign the Mechanism for the Mutual Recognition of Qualifications which locks in the rules for mutual recognition to access education in both our countries.”
This will be the broadest and most favourable recognition agreement India has signed with another country and will enhance student mobility between both countries.
India’s Narendra Modi government’s National Education Policy has a target to get 50 per cent of young Indians into higher education and vocational education by 2035.
That’s nation-changing for India, and a genuine opportunity for Australian education providers to do more to collaborate with India.
The delegation will comprise Australian Vice-Chancellors and other higher-education leaders, including:
- Prof Deborah Terry AO – The University of Queensland
- Prof Alec Cameron – RMIT University
- Prof Brian Schmidt AC – Australian National University
- Prof Mark Scott AO – The University of Sydney
- Prof John Dewar AO – La Trobe University
- Prof Patricia Davidson – University of Wollongong
- Prof Barney Glover AO – Western Sydney University
- Prof Nick Klomp – Central Queensland University
- Prof Lisa Zamberlan (Acting VC) – The University of NSW
- Prof David Lloyd – University of South Australia
- Prof Scott Bowman AO – Charles Darwin University
India is Australia’s second-largest and fastest-growing source of international students with almost 130,000 enrolled with Australian providers as of December 2022.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Indian students contributed about $6.1 billion to the economy.
The agreement will lock in rules for mutual recognition to access education in both countries, including the qualifications Australian universities provide online and offshore.
Universities Australia says the agreement will boost participation in higher education and improve access to employment in both countries, allowing students to use their qualifications where they wish to work.
Universities Australia chief Catriona Jackson said higher education and research were central pillars of the Australia-India relationship.
“Strengthening these links will deliver significant social, diplomatic and economic benefits, helping with skill shortages and driving research breakthroughs to prepare us for the future,” she said.
“We are entering a golden era in our education relationship with India. We must make the most of it for the benefit of both our nations.”
India is aiming to educate 500 million students by 2035.
University of Wollongong’s Global Brand Ambassador and former Australian cricketer, Adam Gilchrist AM will also join the delegation.
The visit provides an important opportunity for Australian universities to showcase new partnerships and plans which they can deliver in India, including opportunities for joint degrees and campuses.
University of Wollongong’s initiative with Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City) is a good example of a partnership that builds skills and capacity to tackle future challenges.