A new initiative will help Indians to study in Australia without qualifications from the Australian education system

Good news for Indian international students: Australia and India are setting up a Qualifications Recognition Task Force that could improve the chances of Indian students to qualify for a place in Australian universities without going through the Australian education system.

Indian and Australian Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Scott Morrison announced Monday that the working group will address the recognition of online and blended learning, joint degrees and offshore campuses.

“The task force will come up with a mechanism to expand the recognition of education qualifications between Australia and India by the end of the year, with implementation taking place in 2023,” it said. a statement from Acting Australian Minister for Education and Youth, Stuart Robert.

It will also support the implementation of the Australian Strategy for International Education 2021-2030. The move will serve to strengthen bilateral education cooperation on the recognition of Australian qualifications, to support the sustainable growth of the country’s education services overseas.

“Australia has a strong and long-standing relationship with India in education, skills and research,” said Robert. “The task force will pave the way for new opportunities for Indian and Australian graduates to use their qualifications.”

According to Robert, the task force will consult with stakeholders to identify opportunities for recognition of Australian and Indian higher education qualifications. It will also use recognition best practices and principles to make recommendations for improving these arrangements.

“This collaboration will serve both countries by expanding educational cooperation and maximizing mobility outcomes for Australian and Indian students and graduates, as well as our educational institutions,” he said. added.

Better recognition of qualifications will allow more Indian and Australian students to work, study and immigrate to either country. Source: Mark Makela/AFP

‘Qualification recognition provisions’ explained

Putting in place systems for the recognition of qualifications basically means recognition of a diploma acquired in one country as equal or comparable to that obtained in another country. This is essential to facilitate the processes to apply to immigrate, work or study in another country.

This could facilitate study abroad processes in several ways. For example, it may allow a student to apply to university using their national degree rather than its international equivalent, which is not necessarily available at all schools. This way, a student may not need to take an additional qualification in an area they already master to be eligible for entry into an international university.

Recognition agreements do not necessarily guarantee that the qualifications will be accepted as equal by another country. However, reports suggest it could help immigration officials, employers and education service providers better understand how a qualification relates to those in their own country.

This will facilitate the integration of Indians into the Australian education system, and vice versa.

Australian universities hail the move, citing it as “further proof” of India’s strong relationship with Australia in education. Source: Mark Makela/AFP

Efforts to recognize Indian and Australian education systems are welcomed by the academic community

education advocates Universities Australia welcomed the move establish a special working group on the recognition of qualifications between the two countries. The leading body for the university sector said there was a need this as “further proof of the strength of the bilateral relationship in education between the two countries”.

Chief Executive Catriona Jackson said recognition of qualifications was an area of ​​growing importance for Australia. The concept was recently raised during a parliamentary inquiry into Australia’s ratification of the ‘Global Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education’.

“We expect microloans to be on the table as well,” she added. “It is important for Indian students returning home and for Australian students working in India to ensure ‘recognition’ of Australian diplomas or micro-certificates. Bite-sized credentials are key to upskilling and retraining skills, and would be at the heart of India’s push for 29 million more skilled workers by 2030.”

“This is an important and positive step forward, and Universities Australia looks forward to moving forward with mutual recognition of qualifications,” added Jackson.

India remains a key partner for Australia in international education. According to Jackson, there were more than 90,000 Indian tertiary students who preferred Australia’s education system before the pandemic, and more than 16% of the country’s student visa holders are Indian nationals.

For this reason, increased efforts have been made to allow Indians to study abroad in Australia. In February, the Australian government announced a series of initiatives to strengthen its educational and cultural ties with India. This includes the Maitri Scholars scheme, which will provide over A$11 million over four years to help Indians study in Australia.

Such moves are meant to counter growing anti-Australian sentiment among the international student community after prolonged border closures prevented them from returning to their universities. In December, a study found that Indian students choose to pursue their education in other countries like UK, USA and Canada.