An India Economic Strategy to 2035 – authored by Peter Varghese AO – notes: “there is no sector with greater promise for Australia in India than education”.
In a speech to the AFR India Business Summit this evening, Prime Minister Scott Morrison highlighted education as “the biggest area of partnership” with India and one of the four key areas emphasised in the Varghese report. Portfolio Ministers would champion their sections of the plan and implementation would be developed over the life of the plan to 2035.
Universities Australia Chief Executive Catriona Jackson said universities have been at the centre of Australia and India’s bilateral relationship for decades.
“Australian universities have more than 400 formal agreements with 230 institutions across India – a number that is four times greater than in 2007,” Ms Jackson said.
“Many enable joint research and academic collaboration to deliver major benefits for both countries.”
“This includes scholarship programs for Indian street kids to take up life-changing study opportunities at university, and nanotechnology research to detect poisoned drinking water in India.”
“And of course, for many years, thousands of Indian students have looked to us for a world-class education, with more than 94,000 studying in Australia at the moment.”
Ms Jackson congratulated Mr Varghese for his important report and for acknowledging the significant contribution of Australian universities.
“The sector’s engagement with India is based on six decades of expertise in building Australia’s international education system from the ground up. It is now Australia’s third largest export, and largest services export, bringing $32 billion a year into our economy,” Ms Jackson said.
“Our deep ties with India are another reminder of the sophistication of Australia’s international education sector, and the mutual benefits that global research and teaching partnerships can deliver for different nations and economies across the globe,” she said.
“With India’s rapid development and prominent role on the world stage, deepening ties is absolutely vital to both nations.”
“Our universities are leading from the front in this essential endeavour.”