That Australia has emerged as one of the most-favoured overseas destinations for Indian students for higher studies was once again highlighted during the visit of the country’s minister for education and training, Christopher Pyne, and the first ambassador for Australian education in India, cricketer Adam Gilchrist, last week. Announcing to reporters in Delhi that 48,500 Indian students had already gone to Australia from India this year for higher education, minister Pyne said that his government was looking at expanding educational ties with India to research collaborations between top institutions in both the countries as well as linking schools in India and Australia.
“While the number of Indian students in Australia is growing at around 15% annually, we would also like to build a stronger relationship between educational institutions in both the countries,” the minister said. A significant development during minister Pyne’s visit was the announcement that the Indian government will soon recognise pathways and foundation courses offered by Australian colleges. The memorandum of understanding signed between Pyne and human resource development minister Smriti Irani will now facilitate credit transfers and mutual recognition of qualifications between the two countries.
The recognition of Australian pathways and foundation courses in the vocational education & training (VET) sector by India is a big step for Indian students who choose to return to work in India or take up further studies. “Recognition of qualifications from Australia in the pathways and technical and further education (TAFE) streams will provide flexibility to both Indian students as well as Australian institutions,” Pyne said. The providers of VET in Australia include TAFE institutes, adult, and community education providers and agricultural colleges as well as private providers, community organizations, industry skill centres, and commercial and enterprise training providers.