Stakeholders said the mutual recognition of qualifications mechanism was “great news” for Australian multinational education providers looking to deliver programs in India.
The agreement – agreed on March 3 – aims to give students “greater certainty” in the recognition of qualifications, with the partners saying it is “the most comprehensive education agreement of its kind in India with another country”.
The announcement comes as Deakin University has revealed plans to open a full international branch campus in GIFT City, India, joining the University of Wollongong Australia, which has announced a teaching location in 2022.
In July 2022, the UK and India agreed a Memorandum of Understanding on the mutual recognition of higher education qualifications.
“This agreement locks in the rules for mutual recognition of access to education in both our countries, including the qualifications we provide online and offshore,” Australian Education Minister Jason Clare said. Clare led a delegation of university leaders and education stakeholders to India. Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will also visit the country from March 8 to 11.
“Australian universities are well placed to contribute to India achieving its domestic education goals”
The agreement will bring “immediate benefits” to both students and higher education institutions in Australia and India and “reflects the strong and mutually beneficial relationship between India.
and Australia,” added Clare.
“Australian universities are well placed to contribute to India achieving its domestic education goals and supporting the skills and employment needs of key Indian industries,” he said.
Australian providers have long sought TNE opportunities in India and suggested that students from the country could stay to work in Australia for longer periods to fill the labor shortage.
Indian Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan visited Australia in August 2022.
Clare highlighted that with India’s plan to have half of young people in vocational and higher education by 2035, “one in four graduates in the world [could] come from the Indian higher education system’ in 12 years.
speak in The visiting minister from Delhi University said the agreement was a two-phase process, first signing the mechanism and later the need to work with the professions on mutual recognition agreements.
Doing so will allow Australian and Indian graduates to practice professionally in both countries, he said, adding that the economic cooperation and trade agreement with India – signed at the end of 2022 – will be important in the future.
During the delegation’s visit, 11 new MoUs were signed between Indian and Australian institutions.
The International Financial Services Centers Authority of India, which announced the Deakin campus, said the center will offer courses in financial management, FinTech, science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
In addition, Deakin has signed an agreement with Indian Premier League team Rajasthan Royals to create a sports scholarship for Indian students.
Pradhan and his Australian counterpart also reaffirmed their commitment to the establishment of an Australia India Task Force on Transnational Partnerships with the aim of “further opportunities for greater institutional cooperation”.
The Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia said the recognition agreement is “significant” for Australian independent skills training and higher education providers looking to support students who want to study in Australia.
“It’s also great news for providers looking to deliver programs in India,” said ITECA CEO Troy Williams, who also accompanied the Australian delegation.
With a total of 70,000 Indian students currently studying in Australia, the country is the largest overseas market for Australian independent tertiary education providers, ITECA noted.
“Recognition of Australian qualifications by the Government of India will encourage transnational education and enable students with Indian qualifications to pursue further education in Australia and vice versa. It is important that these students do not have to go through the complex and time-consuming process of having their qualifications recognized by training providers or employers,” Williams said.
“[It] will increase the employment of Indian students who have completed their education in Australia, thereby enhancing their employability and future career prospects,” he added.
Australian universities, which also joined a delegation to India last September, met with its chairman John Dewar along with Association of Indian Universities general secretary Pankaj Mittal last week.
The partners have renewed a formal partnership which, according to Dewar, will “open the door to greater understanding between Australian and Indian universities, while deepening bilateral cooperation in education and research”.
“Australian and Indian universities have more than 450 formal partnerships”
“Australian and Indian universities have more than 450 formal partnerships between them, demonstrating the strong links between our universities,” he said.
Among the 11 agreements signed last week are “a wide range of areas including bio-innovation and law”, Canberra stressed.
“It’s clear that these relationships will only grow.” India aims to educate 500 million students by 2035 and Australian universities are here to help,” Dewar added.
The UA/AIU MOU will lead to greater student and faculty exchanges, dual and joint degrees, twinning programs and research collaborations, Mittal continued.
“In line with the vision of the National Education Policy, we have also established the Indian International Higher Education Network and a collaboration portal to facilitate student mobility through mutual recognition of qualifications,” he said.