Indian students, your degree could be equivalent to those in the UK

higher education qualifications
The UK and India's Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) would officially recognise each other’s higher education qualifications. Source: Oli Scarff/AFP

The UK and India have signed an agreement to mutually recognise each other’s post-secondary as well as higher education qualifications. 

The inked MoU on July 21, 2022 would mean Indian senior secondary school or pre-university certificates will be considered for entry into UK universities, while UK’s A Levels and their equivalents and undergraduate and postgraduate degrees will be recognised in India, reported the Hindustan Times.

According to the Business Standard, the deal for mutual recognition of higher educational qualifications also means that UK bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees will be seen as equivalent to Indian degrees.

Here’s why this agreement is a big deal for students:

indian students

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson (right) listens to a student inside the laboratory of the Gujarat Biotechnology University. Source: Ben Stansall/Pool/AFP

Recognition of higher education qualifications will boost student mobility

In a press release, the UK government said the agreement will make UK universities even more appealing to Indian applicants and will likely provide an economic boost, as the benefit to the UK of welcoming non-EU students is estimated by industry to be around 109,000 pounds per person.

The agreement will increase the potential for UK nationals to travel to India to study, and open the door for institutions to create courses that can be delivered in both countries.

Similarly, the agreement is expected to make UK universities even more appealing to Indian applicants.

The Hindustan Times reported that the UK-India agreement would also pave the way for greater mobility for Indian students to take up postgraduate courses in Britain.

The UK and India signed an agreement to officially recognise each other’s higher education qualifications yesterday. Source: Oli Scarff/AFP

More job opportunities 

The agreement will allow Indian students who graduate from British universities to apply for postgraduate qualifications, or embark on government careers that require university qualifications, wh­en they return home.

“However, professional degrees such as medicine, pharmacy, engineering, architecture will not be covered under the pact,” BVR Subrahmanyam, Commerce Secretary to the Government of India, told Business Standard.

The UK and India also signed MoUs implementing Enhanced Trade Partnership (ETP) commitments to create a taskforce to provide opportunities for Indian nurses and nursing associates seeking to train and work in the NHS, and to renew a commitment for mutual recognition of the Seafarers’ Certificate of Competency.

Vivienne Stern MBE, Chief Executive, Universities UK International (UUKi), said: “This is a landmark, historic agreement which has been many years in the making. Qualifications students receive will be recognised on both sides, making it easier for students to progress in education and move into jobs.”

She added, “The recognition of UK masters’ is a particularly important development. It means that Indian graduates of the UK’s outstanding universities will receive formal recognition of their outstanding achievements and full access to jobs in the public sector in India.”

indian students

Secretary of State for Education James Cleverly said the India-UK partnership would remove more barriers for bright Indian students looking to study in the UK. Source: Justin Tallis/AFP

Joint education and research initiatives abound

Barbara Wickham OBE, Director India of British Council, said the India-UK education relationship would benefit thousands of talented students in both countries.

“The agreement will support even greater collaboration between our higher education sectors, nurture globally ready graduates through an increasingly internationalised education, and further enable joint education, research and innovation initiatives to explore solutions for shared global challenges,” she said.

Echoing her is James Cleverly, Secretary of State for Education (UK): “This agreement builds on our UK-India partnership and removes barriers so even more of the best and brightest students from India can study here, boosting our economy and enriching our campuses and communities.”

This deal was one of three signed implementing the Enhanced Trade Partnership (ETP), unlocking new opportunities for British businesses exporting to India and vice versa. Trade between the UK and India is worth over £24 billion, which includes upwards of half a million jobs.