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FICCI & Study Queensland partner for cross-border collaborations

Our Correspondent
Our Correspondent
Posted on 10 Mar 2022
16:23 PM
Nine world-class institutions of Queensland and 17 top Indian universities participated at the event for strong cross-border partnerships.

Nine world-class institutions of Queensland and 17 top Indian universities participated at the event for strong cross-border partnerships. Source: FICCI

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Summary
Partnerships between Queensland and Indian universities will not only promote joint research, but also provide students from Australia a rich experience of India
A panel discussion was addressed by key dignitaries, and moderated by Abhinav Bhatia, senior trade and investment commissioner – South Asia, Trade and Investment Queensland

India and Australia are going through exciting times with a possibility of a Free Trade Agreement between two countries in the next few months. Education being one of the key sectors, governments on both sides have recently announced many education and funding-related initiatives to support internationalisation between the two countries. Against this backdrop, FICCI, and the Queensland government (Australia) realise the importance of meaningful collaborations between Indian and Queensland institutions.

Facilitating these partnerships, Study Queensland - the specialist international education and training unit of Trade and Investment Queensland - jointly with FICCI organised the India-Queensland Education Partnership Event 2022 (IQEPE).

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Elaborating the purpose behind such an initiative, Abhinav Bhatia, senior trade and investment commissioner – South Asia, Trade and Investment Queensland said, “Education is a key priority sector for both India and Queensland, Australia. The governments on both sides are committed and supportive of the internationalisation of education. With students looking for holistic and global exposure, meaningful cross-border collaborations are no longer good-to-have but a must-have for educational institutions. Moreover, such partnerships (mutual recognition of qualifications, research in areas like green hydrogen, clinical trials, critical minerals, and student exchanges) will further deepen the already strong relationship between the two regions.”

At the event, a panel discussion on the topic ‘Cross-border Collaborations: Partnering for Success’ was addressed by key dignitaries. The session was moderated and led by Bhatia. The panelists included Sarah Todd, vice-president (global), Griffith University, Ren Yi, pro-vice chancellor (international), University of Southern Queensland, Vidya Yeravdekar, pro-chancellor, Symbiosis International University and NV Varghese, vice-chancellor, National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration; vouched for the urging need of such collaborations during the discussion.

Yeravdekar shared her vision on this collaboration between FICCI and Queensland Government. “Internationalisation is beyond student mobility and the pandemic has brought in new facets of internationalisation. There is a desire from institutions from both India and Australia to collaborate and create a win-win situation. There has to be a symbiotic relationship between partnering institutions and with FICCI being the facilitating platform, institutions from Queensland and India can come and offer diverse opportunities as NEP also endorses international collaborations, joint degrees, joint research etc. Partnerships between Queensland and Indian universities will not only promote joint research, but also provide students from Australia a rich experience of India.”

Reinforcing the potential for increased collaboration between Queensland and Indian universities, Todd noted the emphasis the National Research Foundation has placed on the importance of higher education institutions, the need for research with societal impact and the role that the Indian diaspora plays in developing research partnerships. Collaborative research activities can range from co-authored research publications at the individual level, through to arrangements for joint PhD supervision and working together to access research grant funding at the national and international level. While there is a lot of activity already underway, there is significant potential for increased collaboration in a range of discipline areas, for mutual benefit.”

Addressing the audience on mutual recognition qualification and the credit system, Varghese added, “Students often confuse credit transfer with mutual recognition and partnerships between institutions can overcome the same. This is important because credit transfer is a flexible pathway to higher learning which is supported by the Academic Bank of Credit introduced by UGC, National Higher Education Qualification Framework and Mutual Recognition of degrees. I second that internationalisation is not equal to student mobility and this higher education framework supported by NEP will facilitate and enrich the higher education as well as the partnerships.”

With the growing demand for international education, nine world-class institutions of Queensland and 17 top Indian universities participated at the event for strong cross-border partnerships. Indian institutes such as IIT- Roorkee, IIT-ISM Dhanbad, BITS Pilani, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Symbiosis International University, Vellore Institute of Technology, SRM Institute of Science & Technology took the opportunity to discuss potential partnerships with several top-ranked institutions of Queensland including The University of Queensland, Griffith University, James Cook University, Bond University, University of Southern Queensland, University of the Sunshine Coast, Torrens University, Australian Catholic University and The Outsource Institute and discussed areas of mutual interest to strengthen the education ecosystem between the two regions.

While summing up the discussion, Bhatia added, “Given that the National Education Policy 2020 emphasises internationalisation and global standards in education, Indian universities have a massive appetite for cross-border collaborations. Institutions of Queensland have decades of experience in managing such partnerships in many parts of the world, and we can bring such models and good practices to India. Also, there is a need to look at newer online models to make quality education more accessible, inclusive and more impactful in domains that can make a difference.”

Last updated on 10 Mar 2022
16:23 PM
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