India, Australia sign a framework mechanism for mutual recognition of qualifications

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New Delhi : India and Australia on Thursday signed a framework mechanism for mutual recognition of qualifications that will help ease mobility of students and professionals between the two countries.

The agreement was signed after a bilateral meeting between India’s Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Australia’s Education Minister Jason Clare in New Delhi.

The agreement is part of the commitment made by the Prime Ministers of both the countries at the 2nd India-Australia Virtual Summit held on 21 March 2022, where they agreed to establish a joint task force for mutual recognition of qualifications.

Accordingly, a task force comprising senior officials from the Ministry of Education and Skills and regulators from both sides was formed. It has brought in a comprehensive mechanism that covers both educational and skill qualifications in the two countries and will facilitate two-way mobility of youth for education and employment purposes by mutually recognizing different levels of educational and skill qualifications.

Addressing the media, Pradhan said that Australia and India have come together to create the Knowledge Pillar, a key aspect of bilateral relations. He informed that both the countries have agreed to develop a new framework of partnership to take our bilateral relations to new heights.

Minister Anand revealed that, on India’s suggestion, the scope of the Australia India Education Council (AIEC) has been expanded to include cooperation in skill development.

The chief also invited the minister for the 7th Australia India Education and Skills Council (AIESC) meeting to be held in September and the G20 education ministers’ meeting in June this year.

The signing of the G-to-G Mechanism for Mutual Recognition of Qualifications, the announcement of the IEIF Critical Skills Project and 11 institutional MoUs mark a landmark moment in educational relations between India and Australia.

Today’s developments will create more opportunities for two-way mobility of students and professionals for education and employment purposes, and pave the way for education to be the biggest enabler in taking the India-Australia bilateral relationship to new heights.

The Ministers had a good conversation on deepening our long-standing bilateral relationship, strengthening our vibrant partnership and enhancing engagement in education, skill development, deep-tech research and areas of mutual interest.

In a joint media briefing, Australian Education Minister Jason Clare said Australia is very keen to further expand the partnership between the two countries in education as well as skills.

He added that the agreement signed today will make it easier for students to study in each other’s countries and recognize different levels of educational and skill qualifications.

Appreciating the National Education Policy brought by India, the Australian Minister said that it is breathtaking in opportunities and will transform India with a major push in creating jobs, business, economic productivity and opportunities in all sectors.

He said that India has set a target of imparting higher education or skill education to 50% of its youth by 2035 and Australia would benefit from partnering with India in this programme. Australian universities are keen to work with their Indian counterparts through the joint/dual degree or twinning system of institutes recently facilitated under NEP2020.

Australia wants to advance the depth and importance of the relationship between the two countries by increasing the partnership in the education sector, he reiterated.

Responding to media queries, Clare said that the Australian government will contribute $1.89 million to India to run a skill program in agriculture, which is an important sector for India.

He also informed that Australia is working on top priority to clear the backlog of education visas for Indian students. Claire expressed her gratitude to the Chief for the kind welcome and hospitality and said she looked forward to their meeting later in the year.

In today’s bilateral meeting, the two sides also discussed issues such as enhancing student mobility and enhancing research and academic collaboration between Indian and Australian universities through the recently introduced joint/dual/twinning degree process under NEP 2020.

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