Deepening Australia’s education ties with India was front and centre at a meeting of the Australia India Education Council (AIEC) in New Delhi today.
The Minister for Education and Training, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, and the Hon Ms Smriti Irani, Minister of Human Resource Development, Government of India, reaffirmed their commitment to the AIEC as the principal body for guiding the strategic direction of the knowledge partnership between both countries.
Minister Pyne said the Australia India Ministerial Dialogue held prior to AIEC meeting highlighted education as one of the most successful elements of the broader India Australia relationship.
“I would like to thank Minister Irani for hosting today’s meeting and tonight’s dinner, which provides such a strong foundation for continued growth in our bilateral education partnership under the auspices of the Council.
“I would also like to commend the members of the AIEC working groups on the progress made across the key areas of skills, higher education and joint research, student mobility and welfare, and quality assurance and qualifications recognition,” Mr Pyne said.
The Minister was accompanied on the visit by a high level delegation comprising Vice-Chancellors, peak industry bodies and prominent industry leaders.
One initiative announced at the AIEC meeting was the creation of a quality assurance and qualifications recognition workshop to progress the longstanding issue of the recognition of Australian qualifications in India.
“As I said during my visit to Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) today, I want to see more researchers collaborating and greater institutional linkages forged between Australia and India,” Mr Pyne said.
“Reflecting the priority we attach to our collaboration with India, $84 million has been provided over 13 years towards the Australia-India Strategic Research Fund.
“Such collaboration has resulted in some ground breaking research, including the development of a new class of materials, suitable for implanting in the human body through a range of medical applications.
“That is why Australia and India will work together on a feasibility study to examine establishing a grouping of higher education institutions to encourage greater student mobility, languages and cultural studies in India.
“I want to see this continue as Australia’s strong collaborative research ties with India expand into the future,” Mr Pyne said.
The next Australia India Education Council meeting will be held in Australia in 2016.