India and Australia have often collaborated and strengthened their ties to facilitate smooth international trade and commerce. However, one of the significant partnerships lies in the agreement they signed during a bilateral meeting in New Delhi earlier this month (March 2, 2023). Besides, the agreement is part of the commitment made by the Prime Ministers of both countries held at the Second India-Australia Virtual Summit on March 21, 2022.
The agreement was signed between Dharmendra Pradhan and Jason Clare, the Education Ministers of India and Australia, respectively. According to the agreement, a joint task force would be set up for the mutual recognition of skills and qualifications. Besides, by now, the task force has been established that includes senior officials of the skill ministry regulators and education of India and Australia.
As a result, it has led to an effective mechanism that encapsulates both countries’ education and skill qualifications, enabling the mobility of young individuals for education and employment.
Furthermore, it is noteworthy that Australia has committed to investing 1.82 USD, which will be utilized for study programs and training. In addition, it will also enhance the collaboration between India and Australia in the agriculture sector. Also, other agreements signed between the countries include mutual recognition of academic qualifications. Indian and Australian Universities signed multiple agreements to fund more Ph.D. scholars.
On the other hand, the Indian Government has indicated multiple initiatives to promote partnerships with foreign institutions. For instance, the universities would provide top-notch higher education by facilitating joint or dual degree programs. Also, given the fact that Australia is an essential partner for vocational training and skill development, both countries collaborate on establishing a comprehensive educational system.
The joint collaboration will lead to the creation of training programs, capacity-building, and identifying opportunities in primary sectors for skill cooperation that focus on modern study programs.
Australia – A popular Education Destination
Australia has become one of the top countries for Indian students to pursue higher education and vocational skills. Therefore, the partnership between India and Australia is instrumental in facilitating smooth international education programs. In addition, there are plans to facilitate students from Australia to come to India for higher studies, internships, and research work.
Furthermore, ever since the announcement and declaration of NEP 2020 (National Education Policy), India intends to bolster the internationalization of education. So, the plan includes the policies for joint, dual, or twin degrees and the setting up of international university campuses in India. For instance, the GIFT city of Gujarat, India, was inaugurated for international universities.
The Australian Government allows international students to work for two additional years.
Visa pendency is a crucial issue that Indian students encounter, especially as it is a matter of concern for researchers, professionals, and students. Last year, Prime Minister Modi raised this issue with his counterpart on (Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, commonly known as QUAD) the QUAD forum.
The pandemic and economic slowdown have been the major contributing factor to visa processing delays. However, the Australian Government has set up an extensive task force in the department of Home Affairs in Australia to process visas faster. As a result, the Visa-processing time has now dropped from 40 days to two days. And the number of Indian students waiting for a Visa has dropped by 75 percent in the last six months.
Moreover, a number of institutional-level MOUs were exchanged between India and Australia in March 2023, which will boost the research and academic collaborations between both countries in several crucial areas. As a result, it will drive the bilateral cooperation between India and Australia across a wide range of fields – from bio-innovation to law to industry solutions.