India’s Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan raised the issue of the return of Indian students to Australian university campuses during a virtual discussion with his Australian counterpart Alan Tudge on Tuesday.
The education ministers of the two countries held a virtual meeting to strengthen ties in the field of higher education. During the discussion, the Pradhan also raised the issue of the return of Indian students studying in Australia.
A ban on the entry of international students holding temporary visas, following the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, has prevented several Indian students from joining the universities down under for more than 18 months. It is expected that the return of students will start soon.
Both countries pledged to lay emphasis on two-way student mobility, teacher exchanges, applied research and other areas of mutual priority.
Earlier, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had also taken up problems faced by Indian students in Australia with Foreign Minister Marise Payne during her recent visit to India and urged that the difficulty faced by students due to travel restrictions be sympathetically addressed as soon as possible.
Pradhan noted that India’s National Education Policy, 2020 will be “instrumental” in channelising the aspiration and future needs of our youth and in making India more “relevant” in the global arena. “The education and skills spectrum has a significant potential for further cooperation between India and Australia,” he said.
Last week, Australia announced plans for reopening of international travel and the easing of border restrictions. The country has approved the Indian-made Covishield vaccine for travelling into Australia.