Australia-India Education Qualification Recognition Mechanism has been finalised, according to an announcement made on Wednesday by Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. While in India, Albanese spoke at an event to formally announce that Deakin University in Australia would be establishing an international branch campus at GIFT City in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
He said, “There is a significant development in our bilateral education relations. I am pleased to tell you that we have finalised the Australia-India Education Qualification Recognition Mechanism.”
“This new mechanism means that if you are an Indian student who is studying or have studied in Australia, your hard-earned degree will be recognised when you return home. Or if you are a member of Australia’s very large Indian diaspora, 500,000 and growing, you will feel more confident that your Indian qualification will be recognised in Australia,” he said.
According to Albanese, it is the most extensive and ambitious agreement that India has ever reached with any nation.
It paved the way for commercial opportunities for Australian education providers to offer innovative and more accessible education to Indian students. And it provides a solid basis for educational institutions to consider new ways to partner with each other,” he said.
The visiting prime minister continued, “It is a fantastic piece of work that will have real tangible benefits.”
A new scholarship for Indian students who desire to study in Australia was also announced by him.
“I am pleased to announce a new scholarship offering – the Maitri scholarship. This is for Indian students to study in Australia for up to four years. The scholarships are part of the wider Maitri programme that seeks to boost cultural, educational and community ties between Australia and India,” said Albanese.
Governor Acharya Devvrat and Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel were also present. Addressing at the event, Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel stated that under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the state has made it its mission to become a national and international education centre.
Also, he discussed the sister-city arrangement that Gujarat and Australia signed in 2018, noting that the two countries have long cherished their people-to-people ties.
“Free trade agreement has become a new medium to give a new height to the bilateral relations between India and Australia. Gujarat is a growth engine of development, and I am sure it will get special benefit of bilateral relationship with India and Australia,” added Patel.
According to Albanese, the establishment of Deakin University’s international campus in India was a huge honour. He added that it was also a huge honour for Australia that one of its universities will be the first to open an overseas campus in India.
He added that Australia will always welcome international students and that it was great that they were returning in such big numbers this year. The University of Wollongong also plans to open a campus at GIFT City.
“But not everyone has the means or abilities to pack up their lives and study in another country. There might be financial constraints or family commitment, so a variety of reasons that you want to or need to stay close to home,” Albanese said.
The visiting prime minister expressed his hope that students from Australia as well as India would attend the GIFT City campus.
Iain Martin, vice chancellor of Deakin University, expressed his anticipation that the GIFT City international campus would start accepting students in 2024. According to him, it would initially offer two courses, each with 60 students, on business analytics and cyber security.
By 2035, the government of India hopes to have 500 million more students enrolled in vocational or higher education programmes, or half of its young population, have earned a degree.
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