India has pledged to work with the Australian Government, universities and vocational education trainers to establish themselves in India following a successful two-day mission that has also delivered key advancements on 'train the trainer' course offerings and research collaboration.
Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said the Turnbull Government had secured important progress on key education issues following meetings and discussions with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Minister for Human Resource and Development Prakash Javadekar and the Minister for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Pratap Rudy.
"India represents a significant opportunity for both Australian educators and students which is why the commitments we've secured will continue to deliver on what is a strategically important relationship for both countries and our respective education sectors," Minister Birmingham said.
"Ministers Javadekar and Rudy both recognise the quality of Australian education and have instructed Indian officials to work on helping our universities and training providers to establish themselves in the local market.
"I am confident that, thanks to the positive discussions had in India, it won't be too long until we see Australian universities and training providers complement their significant numbers of Indian students studying in Australia with a significant presence in India too.
"Prime Ministers Turnbull and Modi have also discussed the importance of our two-way trade on education at length in their meetings, and I expect the 130 Australian university and training delegates who have travelled to India will continue to work hard to expand that relationship at the institutional and people-to-people levels.
"Australian educators are well-placed to help the Indian Government achieve its ambitious target of upskilling 400 million Indians by 2022 and I'm pleased that Minister Rudy has endorsed the value of Australian 'train the trainer' courses being delivered by Australian providers. It highlights the world-class reputation of our education system while also smoothing the way for Australian trainers to gain greater access to the booming Indian market.
"A particular highlight of my trip has been to see firsthand the new Indian Energy Research Institute and Deakin University's collaboration on a Nanobiotechnology Research Centre in New Delhi after it was officially opened by Prime Ministers Turnbull and Modi.
"Collaborations like Deakin-TERI and the many showcased by the Group of Eight's new Excellence in India publication that I helped to launch highlight the potential of research partnerships between Australian and Indian universities and researchers.
"There are around 400 research partnerships between our two countries and the Turnbull Government is delivering around $100 million for joint research projects as well as $7 million announced yesterday for seven new Australia-India Strategic Research Fund projects. I look forward to those research relationships growing in number and scale.
"In 2016 around 60,000 Indians were studying in Australia and that number has been growing at around 18.5 per cent per year since 2013. Over the past two days I've had the pleasure of meeting a number of former Indian students who studied in Australia and now actively promote the value of an Australian education through extensive alumni networks.
"Kiran Mazumdar for example, who I had the pleasure of speaking alongside at the Universities Australia Engagement and Alumni Forum, studied at Federation University before returning to Bangalore to start a successful multinational business and her passion for how an Australian education helped her is echoed by many of the alumni I had the opportunity to meet. It's those sorts of stories and experiences, in both Indian and Australian students, that missions like the delegation I've just led to India as well as programs like the Turnbull Government's New Colombo Plan and Endeavour scholarships are designed to foster.
"Our long-term aim is to be India's key international education partner and this trip was a key step forward.
"The momentum we've gained at ministerial and officials levels and the support shown by Australia's universities and vocational education providers will continue to deliver for our partnership with India.