A new Germany-India partnership to facilitate migration and mobility was recently announced, expanding opportunities for students, professionals, and researchers to travel between the two countries for education and work.
This agreement, known as the Comprehensive Migration and Mobility Partnership Agreement, will allow for “mutual mobility” of individuals between India and Germany. This was part of a larger series of discussions centred on sustainable development and climate protection.
“We can use the great potential of migration and skilled workers to our mutual advantage. It is the first agreement of this kind for our country,” German chancellor Olaf Scholz said in Berlin.
“More than 17,000 Indian students take advantage of offers from German universities,” he added. “You are very welcome in Germany – even after your studies.”
The two governments also praised the “extensive” cultural exchange and cooperative education policy between Germany and India. They emphasised the roles of the Goethe-Instituts, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the University Grants Commission, and the All India Council for Technical Education in encouraging and enabling students to study abroad.
According to Katja Lasch, head of the office, the DAAD has a “longstanding cooperation and presence” in India. It currently operates from its headquarters in New Delhi, with smaller offices in Bangalore, Chennai, and Pune.
“Every year individual scholarships are awarded as well as cooperation projects that are funded by DAAD,” she told The PIE News. “We will continue our operation in India and hope together with our Indian partners, with whom we are running also co-founded programmes, we will further develop and strengthen ties.”
DAAD encourages the internationalisation of higher education institutions, project funding, alumni relations, and the support of German studies in India, in addition to providing scholarships for Indians to study in Germany.
“As one of the major players, we hope to take the cooperation further and use the gaining importance of internationalisation in India as a catalyst,” explained Lasch.
The above government consultations would provide better “guidelines on how to strengthen and expand Indo-German cooperation in the field of higher education and research” to organisations like the DAAD.
Numerous different initiatives planned by the Germany-India partnership include encouraging student exchange and allowing German students to be admitted to Indian universities through “Study in India” a programme that promotes India as a top education destination for international students and similar programmes. The Germany-India partnership includes a commitment to pursue further cooperation on education and qualifications to encourage the upskilling of Indian workers. This includes the digital preparatory courses developed to help Indian students enrol in and begin their university programmes in Germany.
Efforts to promote mobility were not limited to government-level agreements between Germany and India. Universities in both countries have tried to find ways to collaborate. This includes the introduction of joint or dual degrees, which was welcomed by the Comprehensive Migration and Mobility Partnership Agreement. Further aspects of internationalisation will be addressed at the International Higher Education Dialogue conference in May.
According to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the exchange of professionals from India has benefited many countries. India currently has a developing labour force, with 64 percent of its population of working age.
This is an extremely appealing prospect for European countries with rapidly aging populations, such as Germany. Akos Kiraly, Head of Sales Strategy at SRH Higher Education, explained that a skilled labour shortage in Germany is impeding the country’s economic growth. Bringing in talented and promising individuals from countries such as India is critical in this regard.
Indians, according to reports, are among the most skilled professionals in certain fields, such as information technology, engineering, and research and development. This, combined with the perception that Indian workers are knowledgeable and hardworking individuals who contribute positively and significantly to their organisations, ensures that Indian nationals are in high demand globally.
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