Discuss steps to ensure Indian students safety

Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal and Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith on Tuesday held talks in Perth on the educational links between the two countries.

Mr. Sibal, on a five-day visit to Australia, will carry the dialogue forward when he meets Australian Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard in Melbourne later this week.

These discussions are considered significant in the context of the continuing concerns in India over its students' safety in Australia. The quality of the education they receive in Australia is also on the bilateral agenda.

Mr. Sibal, in Australia for the annual Ministerial meeting later this week on bilateral cooperation in the education sector, was assisted by India's High Commissioner Sujatha Singh in his talks with Mr. Smith.

In a statement in Perth, Mr. Smith said they “discussed the ongoing steps that the Australian governments [at the Commonwealth and state levels] are taking to ensure that the Indian students in Australia remain safe and return home with a first-class education and a great Australian experience.”

He said they also “looked to the future of the Australia-India education relationship, which presents enormous opportunities to deepen collaboration across all sectors from vocational education and training to higher education and postgraduate studies.”

Mr. Sibal will meet representatives of Australian universities, education providers and State government officials.

On a parallel track, he will interact with representatives of the Indian students and the Indian communities in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney.