‘We must have certain parameters which are common to both the jurisdictions'

The first meeting of the Australia-India Education Council saw extensive discussion on mobility of students between the two nations.

Addressing a press conference here on Monday, Union Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal said student mobility could be ensured only if there was assurance regarding quality of education and if qualifications were recognised. Terming mobility of students as key to any successful collaboration between the two countries, the Minister said the two sides agreed on a number of issues during the bilateral talks.

About the issues under discussion with the visiting Australian delegation, Mr. Sibal said: “A whole range of issues were discussed between the vice-chancellors to ensure that quality education is imparted in the university system to allow student mobility.”

The Australia-India Education Council was conceived in April 2008, and that dream has been realised today, the Minister said, adding that the interaction of vice-chancellors was going to be an annual event.

The delegation, led by Senator Chris Evans, comprised 15 vice-chancellors from different universities in Australia, including Premier of South Australia Mike Rann.

About the Indo-Australian collaboration, Mr. Sibal said: “Essentially, we are talking about collaboration in the field of education. We must have certain parameters which are common to both the jurisdictions (in India and Australia).”

“The other area where both countries are extremely keen to collaborate is in the area of vocation... In an aging population, countries will need young people with skills and quality to immigrate to those countries. India can provide as a center for such quality human resource,” he said.

Security concerns

Replying to queries on security concerns of Indian students in Australia, Mr. Sibal said: “We had a full fledged discussion on the issues that are impacting and have impacted in the past, the Indian students going to Australia.”

Expressing satisfaction over the steps taken by Australian government, he said: “We are happy that Australian government is taking specific steps in order to take care of their [Indian students'] security and have put systems in place and are addressing the issue in a very proactive manner.”