Australia and India are establishing a task force on qualifications recognition. This will improve the chances of Indian students' selection at Australian universities.
The new taskforce project, which will address the recognition of online and blended learning, will help Indian students to enroll without going through the Australian education system.
Indian and Australian Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Scott Morrison announced that the task force would include such learning methodologies, joint degrees, and offshore campuses.
"The task force will deliver a mechanism for expanding education qualification recognition between Australia and India by the end of the year, with implementation to take place in 2023," said Australian Acting Minister for Education and Youth Stuart Robert.
According to the news, the taskforce will also support implementing the Australian Strategy for International Education 2021-2030.
Such a move is seen as supporting the bilateral education cooperation on the recognition of Australian qualifications.
"Australia has a longstanding and strong relationship with India across education, skills, and research," said Robert.
Robert also emphasized that the upcoming task force will also pave the way for new opportunities for graduates of both India and Australia to use their qualifications.
The new announcement is an addition to a series of initiatives to boost its education and cultural ties with India.
Maitri Scholars Program, which provides over 11 million Australian dollars for four years to support Indians to study in Australia, had been a part of these offers for Indian students.
Now, as Australia aims to reopen soon for international students, a much-awaited boost to the Australian education industry has been in the form of the new task force.
"This collaboration will serve both countries by expanding education cooperation and optimizing mobility outcomes for Australian and Indian students and graduates, and our educational institutions," Robert added.
When asked about it fundamentally, it denotes the recognition of a qualification gained in one country as equal or comparable to one obtained from another country.
This is integral to easing the processes of applying to immigrate, work, or continue education in another country.
According to Robert, the task force will consult with stakeholders to identify opportunities to recognize Australian and Indian higher education qualifications.
It will also use best principles, resources, and practices to make recommendations for improving these arrangements.
Improved qualifications recognition will support Australian and Indian students to work, study, and immigrate to either country. Such steps could smoothen the processes for studying abroad in several ways.
For example, students applying for university using their national qualification rather than their international equivalent could use the new taskforce recognition as an aid to study in either country.
Such features may not necessarily be available in all schools. But by providing such mechanisms, students are supported in every possible manner to pursue their educational dream.
Also, the new task force will allow a student to avoid an extra qualification in a field they have already mastered to be eligible for entry into an international university.
Recognition agreements don't necessarily guarantee that qualifications will be accepted as equal by another country.
However, some reports suggest it may help employees, education providers, and immigration officials better understand how a qualification relates to those in their own countries.
The new taskforce on qualification recognition will also make it easier for Indians to integrate into the Australian education system and vice versa.
Education advocates Universities Australia has welcomed the move to establish a special taskforce on qualifications recognition between India and Australia.
The peak body for the university sector said it takes this as "further proof of the strength of the bilateral education relationship between the two countries."
Chief Executive Catriona Jackson added that qualification recognition had grown important for Australia.
The concept was recently brought up in a parliamentary inquiry exploring Australia's ratification of the "Global Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education."
"We would expect microcredentials to also be on the table," Jackson said.
Jackson also shared that ensuring such recognition of Australian degrees or microcredentials is essential for Indian students going home and Australian students working in India.
Being a significant contributor to Australia's higher education market, India boasted over 90,000 students before the pandemic. Additionally, over 16% of the country's student visa holders are of Indian nationality.
"The bite-sized credentials are critical to upskill and reskill and would be central to India's push for 29 million more skilled workers by 2030."
"This is an important and positive step forward, and Universities Australia looks forward to progress in achieving mutual qualification recognition," Jackson added.