By: Shubham Ghosh
It might be just a matter of time before universities from Australia setting up offshore campuses in India under a fresh groundbreaking agreement which the country’s education minister Jason Clare announced this week.
Delivering an address at Universities Australia’s dinner on Wednesday (22) evening, he said he would sign the agreement — the “broadest and most favourable recognition” one — during his visit to India next week. His announcement cane as the Australian government ramps up development projects in the tertiary sector which is witnessing a rapid growth, The Guardian reported.
The agreement locks in norms for mutual recognition to access education in both the nations, including qualifications provided both online and offshore.
Australia and India are seriously working on their bilateral ties of late.
“I am advised it’s the broadest and most favourable recognition agreement that India has signed with any country to date,” Clare was quoted as saying by The Guardian.
Last year, India came up with new regulations permitting foreign universities and educational institutions to open offshore campuses and repatriate profits in various courses, including financial management, STEM, science, technology and engineering.
Earlier on Wednesday, Clare said on ABC Radio National that he would speak to the Indian government about opportunities for Australian universities to establish more onshore campuses.
“We’re talking about hundreds of millions of young Indians getting vocational and higher education qualifications over the next few years,” the minister said, adding, “They want our help, and I think it’s in the interest of Australian universities and Tafes and vocational providers to see what we can do to help there too.”
Clare would be accompanied by Australian foreign minister Penny Wong, 11 vice chancellors, five peak groups and a regulator during his upcoming trip overseas.
Following that visit, Australian prime minister Anthony Albanese will visit India, marking yet another instance of high-profile ministerial visits that government representatives from both countries are paying to each other.
According to Clare, the number of international students starting a degree over the past one year was 38 per cent more than the year before but some countries, including India, were returning faster than others.
However, there has been a 160 per cent rise in the number of students reaching Australia from India to start a degree at the same time student enrolments from China have dropped, the news outlet added.