Growing our trade relationship with India through education

Universities Australia Chief Executive Catriona Jackson will join a delegation of industry leaders on a visit to India this week to strengthen and increase trade and investment links between our nations.

Australia and India have a rich, shared history, underpinned by our strong bilateral higher education and research links.

Ms Jackson said the visit provides an opportunity to cement higher education’s position at the centre of our trade agenda with India by forging deeper and stronger partnerships.

“I am delighted to be representing universities as part of this important visit to one of our key trading partners and I look forward to putting our sector front and centre of discussions,” Ms Jackson said.

“Australia is a major exporting nation and international education is one of our biggest export earners, contributing significantly to our bottom line. Education is the biggest export we don’t source from the ground.

“Our world-class universities generate the export dollars that help pay for the essential services all Australians rely on – like hospitals, schools, and Medicare.

“It’s in our national interest to export more of what pays our way, and we can do that by educating more Indian students in Australia and through our universities having a physical presence in India.

“There is mutual benefit in doing this. International education drives economic growth in Australia and strengthens our social fabric. When students return home, they have the skills and knowledge to make a positive contribution in their own country.

“We must also look at ways to grow our research links. Our universities are already connected by more than 450 partnerships, through which researchers are working together to solve complex challenges, embrace new opportunities and prepare us for the future.

“Deepening our ties is vital as our nations drive ahead in a changing global environment.”

Australia is one of the world’s largest providers of international education and India is our second largest source market for students, accounting for 16.3 per cent of enrolments in 2022.

In 2019, Indian students studying in Australia contributed more than $6.4 billion to our economy.

Ms Jackson said the recently signed trade deal between Australia and India, as well as India’s National Education Policy, is helping unlock the full potential of our education relationship.

“We have only just hosted India’s Education Minister in Australia, so there is clearly a strong appetite for education to play a greater role in the Australia-India relationship,” Ms Jackson said.

“With one million Indians turning 18 every month, there is huge demand for a high-quality education and Australia stands ready to partner more closely with India to achieve our shared education goals.

“Universities look forward to working closely with government and industry – at home and in India – to forge new and stronger trade links through education for the benefit of both of our nations.”

The delegation will travel to India as part of the Australian Government’s Australia India Business Exchange Mission 2022 from 26-30 September 2022.

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