India and Australia today reaffirmed the commitment made by Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart, Mr. Malcolm Turnbull in April 2017 to strengthen the education, training and research relationship between the two countries. This was emphasized in a Joint Communiqué issued after Bilateral meeting between visiting Indian Minister of Human Resource Development, Prakash Javadekar and host Australian Minister of Education and Training, Simon Birmingham in Adelaide, Australia today. It also emphasised on institutional partnership, collaboration in school policy, online education and skill development & vocational education and Training. HRD Minister, Prakash Javadekar said that my discussion with Mr. Birmingham has been fruitful and will take the India Australia education cooperation to a new level.Three Institutional Agreements have also been signed in the presence of HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar and his Australian counterpart today. These agreements are Deakin University agreement with India’s Central Jammu University, Curtin University agreement with the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati and Indian National Council of Education Research and Training and Western Sydney University MoU with India’s Centurion University.Earlier, both the ministers had met during the Australia-India Education Council meeting in Adelaide. The Ministers agreed and laid stress on the importance of education and skills training as a critical mechanism to address the challenges of economic growth. The Ministers commended the contribution of Australia India Education Council, with its government and industry representatives, for significant progress across the key areas of skills, higher education and research, student mobility and welfare, quality assurance, qualifications recognition and schools improving collaboration across borders and developing new networks.
Both the Ministers witnessed the confirmation of institutional partnerships that will strengthen collaboration between the students, academics and universities of both the countries. The Ministers noted that the Government of India has provided greater autonomy to many higher education institutions and welcomed the opportunity for Australian institution to forge joint research partnerships and other academic programs with those institutions, in the areas like Joint Research Projects, Joint supervision of PhDs, student / faculty mobility and award of Joint Degrees / PhDs.The Ministers committed to increasing Australia –India academic mobility in Higher Education including increasing Australian participation in the successful Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN) conducted by the Government of India. They also agreed to further strengthen the partnership of Australia and India in the area of research collaboration to allow greater mobility of researchers, academics and scholars to support our mutual interest in high quality research outputs.The Ministers welcomed the forthcoming publication of the Australia-India Education Council project of a co-authored book “The Future of Higher Education Learning & Teaching” on higher education learning and teaching which included a project developing joint curriculum for India’s Teaching and Learning Centres.
On student mobility, the Ministers noted the increasing number of Australian students studying in India under the New Colombo Plan and the Endeavour Scholarships program and Indian students studying in Australia.The Ministers underlined the importance of basic education. Australia and India will collaborate in schools policy through a partnership for reviewing school curriculum, teaching and learning. This will be progressed through a collaborative initiative between the Ministry of Human Resources Development and the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority where Indian curriculum experts will observe the Australian curriculum review. Ministers also noted that officials will continue engagement and collaboration on teacher professional development and smart classrooms.The Ministers noted the increasing interest in cross border education and exchange of students, academics and researchers. India extended its welcome and assured joint support to the forthcoming India-Australia Conclave on International Education to be held in India in 2019.The two Ministers acknowledged the cooperation on targeted issues demonstrated by the AIEC’s Quality Assurance and Qualifications Recognition (QAQR) Working Group. It was agreed this policy work was paramount to encouraging a highly skilled and mobile workforce.
The Ministers recognised the need for greater co-ordination of quality assurance in education as well as the potential for shared curricula and quality frameworks.The Ministers reaffirmed the key role played by professional and twenty-first century skills to ensure graduates of our education systems are industry-ready. Australia and India will identify opportunities to engage in policy discussion on entrepreneurship education and are committed to strengthen the curricula at all levels of education for entrepreneurship and skill development.The Ministers committed to make effective use of ICT infrastructure to facilitate learning and share its e-learning platform(s) in higher education, schools and skills. Ministers committed to greater collaboration through online delivery of education, including India’s SWAYAM platform which is open to all Australian education providers.Ministers also acknowledged the valuable partnership between both nations on skills development and vocational education and training. Ministers shared their ambitions for vocational training in schools and agreed to explore opportunities for further collaboration. Ministers noted the delivery of vocational training by Australian providers in India, as well as the International Skills Training Courses which is increasing the capacity of vocational trainers and assessors in India.Both the Ministers agreed that Australia-India Education Council has effectively displayed an overarching role in strengthening the Australia-India bilateral education, training and research relationship in both policy and program engagement. It was proposed that the next meeting will be held in India in September 2019.