India and Australia signed a Framework Mechanism for Mutual Recognition of Qualifications that will ease student and professional mobility between the two countries. Following a meeting in New Delhi on March 2, 2023, between India’s Education Minister Shri Dharmendra Pradhan and the Australian Education Minister Mr. Jason Clare, the agreement was signed.
This agreement is a result of the Prime Ministers of both countries commitment to creating a Joint Taskforce for the mutual recognition of qualifications, which was made at the 2nd India-Australia Virtual Summit on March 21, 2022. The meeting was attended by Shri Sanjay Kumar, Secretary of School Education; Shri Sanjay Murthy, Secretary of Higher Education; and Shri Atul Kumar Tiwari, Secretary of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.
A Task Force was set up, comprised of senior officials from the education and skill ministries as well as regulators from both countries. By mutually recognizing various levels of education and skill qualifications, it has developed a comprehensive mechanism that covers both the education and skill qualifications of the two countries and will aid in facilitating youth mobility for both educational and employment purposes.
Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Hon’ble Union Minister of Education and, Skill Development & Entrepreneurship stated, “Australia and India are committed to making the knowledge pillar a key aspect of their bilateral relationship.” He stated that both countries agreed to develop new frameworks for partnerships to take our bilateral relations to new heights. He expressed that the scope of the Australia-India Education Council’s (AIEC) work had been expanded to include cooperation in skill development, as suggested by India.
The signing of the G-to-G mechanism for mutual recognition of qualifications, the announcement of the IEIF Critical Skills Project, and 11 institutional MoUs represent a turning point in India-Australia educational relations. The current developments will increase the opportunities for student and professional mobility in both countries for education and employment, and they will pave the way for making education the key enabler in increasing the India-Australia bilateral relationship and realizing shared aspirations.
Mr. Jason Clare, Australia’s Minister of Education, stated that “Australia is eager to broaden its partnership with India in the fields of education and skill development.” He went on to say that the agreement signed will make it easier for students to study in each other’s countries, as well as provide recognition for various levels of education and skill qualifications. The Australian Minister commended India’s National Education Policy, saying it is breathtaking in scope and will transform India by boosting jobs, businesses, economic productivity, and providing opportunities in all areas.
He stated, “Australia would be privileged to partner with India on this program as India has set the goal of providing 50% of its youth with either higher education or skill education by 2035.”
“The Australian government will contribute 1.89 million dollars to a skills program in agriculture, which is a crucial industry for India,” said Mr. Jason Clare. He added that Australia is making it a top mission to clear the pendency of education visas for Indian students.
In the bilateral meeting, the two countries also discussed issues like
- Promoting student mobility
- Enhancing research and academic collaborations between Indian and Australian universities (through the mechanism of joint or dual degrees that have been brought in recently under NEP2020)
GIFT City in Gujarat has been made accessible to foreign universities free of domestic regulations. Universities in Australia are actively looking into establishing campuses in GIFT City.
Also read: India and Australia strengthen cooperation in skill development, Vocational Education and Training (VET) https://www.nationalskillsnetwork.in/india-and-australia-strengthen-cooperation-in-skill-development/
Several institutional-level MOUs were also exchanged between the university sectors of India and Australia, which will enhance research and academic partnerships between the two countries in various key sectors. These organisations are pushing for bilateral cooperation between Australia and India in a variety of areas, including bio innovation, law, and industry solutions.