Giving a boost to bilateral ties in the field of education, Australian Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard today launched three courses jointly designed by IGNOU and Queensland University of Technology.

The programmes are ‘diploma in primary education’, ‘master of intellectual property law’ and doctoral programme for research and training assistants.

Launching the courses, Ms. Gillard said the collaboration between the two institutes provided an “excellent opportunity for both Australia and India to demonstrate what we can achieve working together.”

She reiterated Australia’s commitment to support India in the field of education and training and lauded the new Right to Education Act which provides for free and compulsory education to children in the 6-14 age group.

The diploma programme in primary education seeks to train teachers of primary education to enhance quality of teaching at the grassroots in the country.

IGNOU vice-chancellor Prof. V. N. Rajasekharan Pillai said since the programme would be delivered through IT tools, the outreach among the target group could be vast.

The unique part of the other programme —— the master programme in intellectual property right —— lies in the fact that law graduates will get dual degrees from Queensland University and IGNOU.

Students enrolled in this programme will get an option to study a semester in Queensland University in this two-year programme.

The doctoral programme for research and training assistants, jointly developed by the institutes, aims to enhance quality of research in general and capabilities of research scholars in all disciplines.

The areas of study under this programme are ‘built-in environment and engineering’, ‘creative writing’, ‘education’, ’health’, ‘IT’ and ‘media management’, etc.

Deputy vice-chancellor of Queensland University Prof. Arun Sharma was present at the function.