Pradhan invites Australian institutes to set up campuses in India, raises issue of pending visas for students
New Delhi, August 22, 2022
Union Minister for Education & Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Dharmendra Pradhan today invited Australian educational institutions to set up campuses in India and also raised the issue of pending visas of Indian students.
The Minister, on a four-day visit to Australia, held a bilateral meeting and co-chaired the 6th meeting of the Australia India Education Council (AIEC) with his counterpart Jason Clare at Western Sydney University (WSU).
During the bilateral meeting, the Ministers had fruitful discussions on further strengthening cooperation in education, skill development, research, innovation and entrepreneurship. Pradhan welcomed Australian universities and skilling institutions to set up their campuses in India and explore areas of collaboration with Indian institutions. He also invited Clare to visit India by the end of this year.
The Ministers also agreed to expand the cooperation in learning, skilling and research to make education a key pillar under the India-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.
In the meeting of the Australia-India Education Council, Pradhan said the AIEC was a highly effective forum to further advance ties and boost engagements in education, skill development and research priorities. He invited the Australian team to hold the 7th meeting of the AIEC in India next year.
He stressed the research collaboration between the two countries in the areas of Ayurveda, Yoga, Agriculture, etc. He called for collaboration in skill certification and areas like mining and logistics management.
India has set up Digital University and Gati Shakti University for which the two countries could work together to develop curriculum and other aspects, he added.
Pradhan also raised the issue of pending visas of Indian students going to Australia. The Australian Minister has assured cooperation in expediting the pending visas.
Later, the Ministers also held a joint press conference in which they announced the establishment of a working group on transnational education to build a shared understanding of the regulatory settings in both countries and promote opportunities for the two-way mobility of institutions.
Pradhan reiterated that India remained committed to building knowledge bridges and deepening bilateral engagements with Australia in education, skilling and research for mutual growth and prosperity.
Pradhan also visited various schools, higher education institutes and skilling institutions in Sydney during his visit and said the best practices from Australia in early education and digital learning could be replicated in India.
Along with Sarah Mitchell, Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning, Pradhan visited a Homebush West Public School in the New South Wales state to get insights on school excellence frameworks and best practices in universalising early childhood education.
He interacted with the young learners and teachers at the school. He said affordable, accessible and universal early education for children was the key to better learning outcomes and a brighter future for all. The best practices and positive experiences in early education and digital learning at NSW can be replicated in India to make early childhood care and education equitable and accessible and for strengthening childhood care frameworks, especially after school hours.
Pradhan along with Jason Clare visited the Institute of Applied Technology at TAFE NSF. He said that this facility was a signature training hub to equip youth with new-age skills relevant for global opportunities and driving infrastructure projects & economic growth of the region.
India was also setting up a multi-disciplinary and multi-dimensional Gati Shakti University to create the next-generation skilled professionals to support the growing logistics, infrastructure development and transport sector. Gati Shakti University and the Institute of Applied Technology for Construction could work together in developing industry-centric programmes, closing skills gaps, up-skilling, re-skilling and creating innovative digital resources among others, he added.
Later in the evening, he interacted with the Vice-Chancellors and senior representatives of the Australian Government, Department of Education at an event organised by Universities Australia on "Transforming our future through institutional collaboration" at UNSW, Sydney.