India and Australia have established diplomatic relations, which will be strengthened through a number of joint initiatives.
The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Tourism Cooperation in February is at the top of this list, with the two countries exchanging information relating to tourism and student mobility, making travel and relocation easier.
Further topics of discussion include tourism and hospitality investment, visits by tour operators and wholesalers, media and opinion makers, and interest in significant cultural, artistic, and sporting events.
The formation of a task force for mutual qualification recognition between both countries is a recent development of the MoU. This means that Indian students will no longer need to take additional certificates or qualifications in order to be admitted to Australian universities, and vice versa. It will also facilitate two-way educational mobility between the two countries.
Even during the pandemic, which prompted the country to close its borders to the rest of the globe, Australia’s foreign higher education sector took a hit. The credentials recognition agreement is a critical step that will allow degree-qualified professionals to easily relocate between both nations, opening up job opportunities to fill shortfalls in Australia’s workforce. This comes as India and Australia try to strengthen bilateral relations in areas such as trade, free migration, and education, an endeavour that is gaining traction.
On Monday, for example, a virtual summit was held in New Delhi to address a number of measures relating to student mobility, vital minerals, sustainable energy, and tax breaks for investments in sovereign funds.
During his introductory remarks, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised the “amazing progress” made on the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA), which will strengthen bilateral economic ties.
“I am confident that the remaining issues will also be agreed upon soon. The early completion of CECA will be crucial for our economic relations, economic revival, and economic security,” he said.
For the better part of two decades, India has been a favourite study destination for Indians. In 2019, over 115,000 Indian students were studying in Australia. When the Australian border reopened in December, Indian students were among the first to return to their campuses. Indian students are among the most common overseas students in Australia.
According to recent research, Indian students are the second-largest international student population in Victoria.
The numerous appealing post-study possibilities offered to overseas students are part of Australia’s allure. Work visas in a variety of disciplines are available to qualifying international students, many of which can lead to permanent residency.
International students can participate in the SAIEP (Study Australia Industry Immersion Programme) throughout their university years, a project of the Australian Trade and Investment Commission to engage in real-world industry projects and increase post-study work opportunities.
Authorities hope that this enhanced cooperation will enhance the prospects of students in both India and Australia. Currently, Australian universities are striving to offer enough skilled engineers and computer scientists, among other professions, to fulfil the IT industry’s growing expectations.
Likewise, fresh graduates’ employment in India is at an all-time low. In the India Skills Report, less than half of engineering graduates were judged employable, with students from other degree programmes rating even lower.
According to a recent assessment by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Indian education system is “patchy,” and the country “cannot supply the demand for education on its own.” A large part of this is due to a lack of educational governance and curriculum standards.
“Getting education right is critical for India to maximise the potential of its demographic dividend by ensuring its millions of young people are equipped to enter the workforce and able to adjust to rapid technological change,” the analysis detailed.
“Australia should look to increase the number of high calibre Indian students at its universities and deepen two-way research links while continuing to welcome Indian students who seek an Australian education primarily for a migration outcome.”
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