Australian Education Minister Jason Clare arrived in Delhi on Tuesday, leading a delegation of Australian higher education leaders to promote collaborations between the two countries. The Australian Minister is on an official visit to India from February 28 to March 3, during which he will attend a student exchange programme and a series of meetings along with Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan to provide momentum to bilateral relations in the domain of education.
The two Ministers will also sign the Mechanism for the Mutual Recognition of Qualifications which locks in the rules for mutual recognition to access education in both countries. “This will be the broadest and most favourable recognition agreement India has signed with another country and will enhance student mobility between both countries,” the Australian Minister said in a press statement. He also said that India’s National Education Policy, which has set a target of raising enrolment in higher education and vocational education to 50% by 2035, provided a “genuine opportunity for Australian education providers to do more to collaborate with India”.
His trip comes ahead of Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s visit to India in early March. It is also reliably learnt that during the Mr. Albanese’s visit, Australia’s Deakin University will announce an independent foreign campus in Gujarat’s GIFT City, becoming the first international university to set up an offshore campus here.
Deakin University’s vice president (global alliances) and CEO (South Asia), Ravneet Pahwa, however, declined to comment on the development. An official announcement is expected on March 8, multiple sources said.
The Education Minister’s delegation also comprises Vice Chancellors and other higher education leaders representing nearly 11 Australian universities. The University of Wollongong’s global brand ambassador and former Australian cricketer, Adam Gilchrist, will also join the delegation.
Mr. Clare also said that the visit will provide an important opportunity for Australian universities to showcase new partnerships and plans which they can deliver in India, including opportunities for joint degrees and campuses.