The recent inaugural meeting of the Australia India Education and Skills Council marked a significant milestone in international educational collaboration. The new Australia-India education partnership underscores the strengthening ties between India and Australia in the education sector, leading to the signing of a pivotal education partnership.
What is the Australia-India education partnership?
Two of Australia’s most prestigious universities, the University of Wollongong and Deakin University have announced plans to establish branches in India’s Gujarat International Finance-Tec (GIFT) City. This move is part of a broader agreement that involves six Australian universities, including Western Sydney University, the University of Canberra, La Trobe University, Griffith University, James Cook University, and Flinders University, to offer their courses to students in India.
These universities are exploring collaborative ways to launch into new international markets and deliver Australian degrees in India. This innovative approach involves working together to deliver courses overseas, rather than operating as individual entities. The primary aim is to expand education access for Indian students and enhance the presence of Australian universities in the region. This agreement builds on other Australian education deals already in place in India.
What does the Australia-India education partnership aim to achieve?
The decision to establish these campuses is a response to the growing demand for higher education services in India. The Indian Government’s goal is to enrol 50% of young people in post-school education by 2035. The presence of Australian universities in India, particularly in-country campuses offering Australian courses, is expected to support this ambitious goal. Moreover, this expansion presents a significant economic opportunity for Australian universities. It allows them to extend their reach and access a broader student base beyond Australia.
Expanding beyond India: Looking towards Indonesia
Three Australian universities will establish campuses in Indonesia, enhancing international education and strengthening ties between Australia and Indonesia. Western Sydney University, Deakin University, and Central Queensland University are expanding their presence in Indonesia.
Western Sydney University plans to open a branch campus in Surabaya, East Java, focusing on degree programs and short courses with an emphasis on STEM skills. The Surabaya campus is expected to start in late 2023, with the first intake of students planned for September 2024.
Deakin University, in partnership with the UK’s Lancaster University, plans to offer dual programs in Bandung, West Java. This joint venture will provide a unique combination of Australian and British degrees, subject to approval by national regulators. The Bandung campus has strong support from both the Australian and British governments, highlighting the importance of this collaboration.
Central Queensland University has been active in Indonesia since 2019 through a university centre in Jakarta, in partnership with Bakrie University. This collaboration allows Indonesian students to earn Australian degrees. CQUniversity is exploring additional locations in Indonesia to align its teaching and research expertise with local workforce needs.
These initiatives align with Indonesia’s goal to add 57 million skilled workers to its economy by 2030. The expansion of Australian universities into Indonesia is seen as a crucial step in meeting this target and contributing to Indonesia’s growing economy and human capital needs.
What opportunity does the Australia-India education partnership create for education providers?
For education providers, this recent development serves as a compelling call to thoroughly evaluate and explore similar opportunities. The strategic move of Australian universities into India not only signifies a new era in global educational collaboration but also presents a remarkable model for other institutions to consider and potentially emulate.
This proactive approach to international education highlights the paramount importance of fostering cross-border partnerships as a means to effectively respond to the ever-evolving global educational landscape, catering to the diverse needs and emerging trends of students worldwide.
By embracing such collaborative initiatives, educational institutions can position themselves at the forefront of innovation and cultivate a truly global learning environment.
The inaugural Australia India Education and Skills Council gathering and the subsequent education partnership mark a pivotal moment in international education. This development not only strengthens educational ties between Australia and India but also opens new avenues for other education providers to explore similar collaborations.
As the landscape of global education evolves, it is crucial for education providers to stay informed and consider whether similar opportunities exist for them to expand their global footprint.