India and Australia are working on a dual degree programme following the recently inked Australia-India trade deal. The historic agreement will mean improved recognition of Australian and Indian higher education qualifications.
According to news agency PTI, via Edex Live, India’s Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said on Wednesday that the dual degree programme under the deal would bring quality education to Indians and enhance collaboration between universities in both countries.
The minister said there would be mutual recognition of educational qualifications while they are also looking at degrees being given jointly; for instance, between a medical college in India and a medical college in Australia.
“The advantage with dual degrees is that we will help bring quality education to more and more Indians, so the cost comes down significantly, almost by half,” he told PTI.
The move would also help in recognising each country’s degrees and course contents.
Dual degree programmes between Australian and Indian higher education systems?
Australia’s Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Dan Tehan said the historic trade deal would enhance collaboration at Australia’s and India’s higher education levels.
Under the dual degree programme between both countries, students would be allowed to study for two years in Australia and India respectively, subject to norms that are under discussion, said the report.
“My hope is that we will start to see dual degrees between the universities in Australia and India,” Tehan was quoted saying, adding that it will enhance collaboration at the higher education level. “So it’s a really special part of the agreement.”
The Australia-India trade deal will also see Indian yoga instructors and chefs given special visas to come to Australia.
In a previous statement on the trade deal, Tehan said the education sector held the greatest promise for Australia’s trading relationship with India.
“One million Indians turn 18 every month, so there is a huge and growing demand for a high-quality education,” said Tehan.
“As a world-class education provider, Australia is well placed to partner with India across secondary, university and vocational sectors.”
Indian international students studying in Australia contributed more than 6.4 billion Australian dollars to the economy in 2019, pre-COVID.
India is Australia’s second-largest source market for international student enrolments, accounting for 15.2% of international students in 2019, pre-COVID, and 16.3% in 2022.
It was previously reported that a new taskforce will be established by the governments of both countries to facilitate mutual recognition of Australian and Indian higher education qualifications. The taskforce will address the recognition of online and blended learning, joint degrees and offshore campuses.
The framework is expected to take place in 2023.