“Universities fully support the government’s focus on growing our relationship with India, which is flourishing,” Universities Australia Chief Executive Catriona Jackson said.
“We congratulate the Prime Minister for taking a front foot approach to strengthening these ties, through which we all stand to benefit.
“Universities are key to maximising the economic potential of the relationship with India.
“The Australia-India Migration and Mobility Partnership Arrangement will support the flow of more students, researchers and skilled people between our countries. This is a good thing.
“Before the pandemic, international education contributed around $40 billion to Australia’s economy, with Indian students contributing $6.1 billion of that total figure in 2019.
“We already have more Indian students studying in Australia than before the pandemic, but it is in our interest to build on this.
“We are facing skill shortages, economic challenges and security issues in a fast-changing environment. We need more skilled people, educated in our universities, to help us respond.
“There is also the opportunity to help India realise its education ambitions.
“India wants to educate 500 million students by 2035. Our universities are here to help by giving as many people as possible the educational opportunities they deserve.
“The new arrangement will also facilitate greater collaboration between our researchers, whose work is essential to the success, safety and prosperity of both our nations.
“India and Australia are united in understanding the power of education – to change lives and power economies.
“Universities look forward to continuing to work with both governments through this new golden era for the Australia-Indian relationship.”