In another step towards strengthening their higher education ties and to boost student mobility, the Australian and Indian governments have decided to set up a Taskforce On Education Qualifications Recognition.
The landmark move, announced by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, is aimed at dealing with the recognition of blended and online learning, joint degrees as well as offshore campuses.
Stuart Robert, Australia’s Acting Minister for Education and Youth, said that given Australia’s strong and long ties with India in the areas of education, skills and research, the taskforce would lead to new opportunities for graduates of both countries to use their qualifications. “Indian students continue to be a valuable part of our community,” he added.
The Indian Prime Minister’s Office noted that within six months of setting up, the taskforce will work towards improving arrangements for the recognition of qualifications. “This step is taken to further augment the age-old India-Australia education and skilling ties. It will also apply to those qualifications earned through diverse delivery modes for access to higher education, and to boost employment opportunities,” said a PMO official.
- Australian government data points out that Indian students accounted for 21% of total enrolments as of 2020
- Enrolment of Indian students in Australian higher educational institutes dropped to 17% in 2021 with close to 1 lakh students
What The Taskforce Promises
This initiative will bolster the implementation of the Australian Strategy for International Education 2021-2030. The taskforce will provide a mechanism to expand qualification recognition between India and Australia by the end of 2022. The implementation will start in 2023.
Previously, the Indian government, in 2019, had announced that the Association of Indian Universities will give equivalence to Australian qualifications pursued through pathway programs. The move allowed Indian graduates, who complete part of their Australian degree through pathway programs, to get their qualifications officially recognised in India. It helped Indian students in getting government jobs in India or continuing higher studies back home.
Some of the top universities in Australia for Indian students include the University of Melbourne, University of Sydney, Monash University, University of New South Wales, and Deakin University. The country’s government has taken a series of measures in recent months to welcome back Indian students to study in Australia.
Quad Fellowship to Bring Indian-Australian Students Closer
Another development which highlights the increasing efforts of India and Australia, along with the US and Japan (also known as Quad nations) to improve collaboration in education and research, is the announcement of the Quad Fellowships Program in 2021. Applications have been opened for these fellowships this month.
Besides Indian and Australian students, master’s and doctoral students from the US and Japan are eligible for applying to the fellowship, which is offered to those pursuing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) programs.
The first cohort will be announced in October 2022. The session will begin with virtual pre-programming, followed by a residential program in August 2023. Funds will be provided to fellows for their graduate studies starting in the academic year 2023-2024.
What Quad Fellowship Offers
- Quad Fellowship sponsors 100 American, Japanese, Australian, and Indian master’s and doctoral students in STEM to study in the US
- Over a period of time, the program aims to create a cluster of experts striving to innovate and collaborate on their own and among Quad nations
- Each Quad fellow will receive a one-time award of US$50,000 which can be used for tuition, research, fees, books, room and board, and related academic expenses such as registration fees and research-related travel
- Fellows are allowed to apply for separate proven need-based funding of up to US$25,000 to cover costs related to completing graduate-level studies
Key Eligibility Criteria
- Applicants should be at least 18 at the time of submitting applications
- Only citizens or legal permanent residents of Australia, India, Japan, or the US are allowed to apply
- Candidates must have a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in a STEM field by August 2023
- The applicant must have a demonstrated record of superior academic achievement at the undergraduate level
Applicants can click here to know more.