India, Australia agree to step up education cooperation

MELBOURNE: India and Australia today decided to step up institution partnership, collaboration in school policy, skill development and vocational education at a bilateral meeting, which also witnessed signing of three important MoUs between top educational institutions of the two countries.

Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar said the education dialogue with Australia "reaffirmed the commitment" made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Turnbull Malcolm in April 2017 "to strengthen the education, training and research relationship" between the two nations.

Javadekar is leading a four-member delegation to Australia to participate in the 4th Australia India Education Council (AIEC) meeting which was held at Adelaide today.

"At a bilateral meeting in #Adelaide with the Australian Minister of Education & Training, Mr. Simon Birmingham. Emphasis was given to institution partnership, collaboration in school policy, online education, skill development & vocational education & training," the minister tweeted.

He further said his discussion with Birmingham has been "fruitful" and "will take the India, Australia education cooperation to a new level".

During the meeting, the two sides signed a Memorandum of Understanding between Western Sydney University and India's Centurion University, a joint PhD agreement between Curtin University and the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, and a MoU between Deakin University and the Central University of Jammu.

Australia and India share many values and aspirations, as well as a fundamental commitment to education, Birmingham said at the AIEC meet.

Noting that the cooperation between the two nations covers research, international education, academic mobility, skills and training and partnerships with industry, he further said, During my visit to India last year I saw firsthand a number of the close partnerships already underway and the importance of India as a key education partner.''

Aiming at enhancing its footprints in India's booming education market, Australia also announced a fund of five million AUS dollars for the Melbourne-based Australia India Institute (AII) during the bilateral meet.

AII will be pivotal in building closer cooperation between institutions both here and in India, boosting the mobility of Indian and Australian students and further supporting shared research priorities," Birmingham said.

The AII was established in 2008 and is hosted at the University of Melbourne. The Institute's mandate is to build knowledge about India among Australian government, business and the wider Australian community.

Our meetings today and the continued work of the Australia India Institute will help further enhance the footprint of Australian universities and vocational education providers in the booming Indian market,'' Birmingham said.

Many more agreements are expected to be signed in the coming weeks, including a Letter of Intent on solar cooperation between the University of New South Wales and The Energy Resources Institute of India.

With more than 8,000 co-authored academic publications since 2013, more than 400 research partnerships already in place and over 70 000 Indian students currently studying in Australia, the partnership between Australian and India will continue to go from strength to strength, Birmingham said.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)


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