Australia will start recognising higher education degrees obtained in India under a mutual framework to be signed between the two countries on Thursday, but engineering, medicine, law and other professional courses will remain outside its ambit.
Visiting Australian Education Minister Jason Clare, who will sign the Mechanism for the Mutual Recognition of Qualifications with Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan in Delhi, on Wednesday said the framework was an outcome of deliberations that lasted over a decade.
“India has other agreements with countries like the US. What makes this broader than the agreement with the US is it includes online courses also, apart from courses that Australian universities can run in India or at a standalone campus like the one that University of Wollongong is setting up,” Clare told The Indian Express.
“So it means that whether you are studying with an Australian university in Australia, or here in India, or online, or at an Australian university campus in India, those qualifications will be counted and will be recognised for your next big step in higher education,” Clare said.
Asked whether the framework will also accord mutual recognition to professional degrees, Clare said those provisions are still in the works.
Clare said he was asked the other day whether one can “automatically travel to Australia and practice medicine” if one is a doctor with a medical degree from an Indian university. “At the moment, the answer is no, because there’s another step that has to be taken where the medical profession itself has its own registration process,” he said. “This ensures that [after]this recognition of the university qualifications, the next step is what can be placed into work in terms of recognition by different professional clients. That remains to be done; so that’s a big piece of work.”