Tribune News Service
New Delhi, November 21
Nine years after racist attacks on Indian students in Australia marred ties between the two countries, land Down Under is eyeing a “golden age” in education cooperation with India. The visiting Australian Education Minister, Dan Tehan, today termed the 2009-10 race violence involving Indian students as a matter of “very small negative perception”. “That small negative perception could not cope with the overwhelming welcoming sentiment the Australians have for Indian students,” he said.
Tehan is on a three-day visit to India and will meet HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal tomorrow to talk possible enhanced engagement in education, a leading export earner for Oz. International education contributed USD 37.6 billion to the Australian economy last financial year with the number of Indian students Down Under growing by 71 per cent since 2014.
Currently, 1.07 lakh Indian students are enrolled to study in Australian education institutions with Indians emerging the second largest source country for international students for Australia, the first being China. Australia seeks to change that.
“Australia and India can grow together in education as both countries undertake major reforms in the sector. India’s New Education Policy will hopefully enable policy change to allow Australian universities to come up in India. We are also looking at possibilities of Indian universities coming to Australia and there’s now interest on both the sides to invest in each other’s sectors. When I meet the Indian minister tomorrow, we will keep the agenda open,” Tehan said.
In a major policy move aimed at attracting students from India, Australia will shortly announce regulatory framework short-term vocational courses — a hitherto unregulated area that allowed room for malpractices with international students at the receiving end. The Australian government is now pitching for major education cooperation with India given New Delhi’s demographic trend that will soon see it overtake China as the world’s most populous country.