Mumbai: One of Australia’s most prestigious research-intensive universities, the University of Melbourne, will not be opening a campus in India anytime soon and instead focus on building a ‘global hub’ in Delhi, according to Vice Chancellor Duncan Maskell.
The University of Melbourne, which is a part of Australia’s leading Group of Eight universities, will be keeping a physical presence in India through its global hub to partner with Indian institutions.
“The global hub that we will set up in Delhi will be a common portal for our educational initiatives in India,” VC Maskell told the Free Press Journal.
Melbourne Uni launches degree with three Indian varsities
Maskell and a delegation from the University of Melbourne touched down in Mumbai on Thursday to launch a new Bachelor of Science Dual Degree with the University of Madras, Savitribai Phule Pune University, and Gandhi Institute of Technology and Management (Hyderabad).
Indian students who enrol in the new dual degree will be able to complete their degree at home and abroad, spending the first two years studying in India, followed by two years on campus in Melbourne.
Once they complete their studies, Indian students will be awarded a Bachelor of Science from the University of Melbourne, while having the option for their local institution to award the degree.
In addition, Indian students can study up to six master's subjects in their final year so they can fast-track a master's degree from a suite of disciplines including science, engineering, public health, and data science.
Australia's big scale educational outreach in India
Australia, which has turned out to be one of India’s most significant strategic partners through Quad and other security initiatives, is also spreading its wings into the country’s academic space with multiple announcements.
Just a week before his trip to India on February 28. Australia’s Education Minister Jason Clare stated that Australian universities can build offshore campuses in India, while also agreeing to rules for mutual recognition to access education in the two nations, including qualifications provided online and offshore, under a ‘broad-ranging deal’.
In line with the deal, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced that Victoria-based Deakin University will be opening the first-ever international branch campus in India’s central business district of GIFT city in Gujarat. The University of Wollongong, which has also expressed interest in setting up a campus in India, is working towards receiving approval for the same by mid-2023.
Both countries have also finalised the `Australia-India Education Qualification Recognition Mechanism’, creating a mechanism for Indian students to get their degrees recognised both at home and Down Under.
“This new mechanism means that if you are an Indian student who is studying or have studied in Australia, your hard-earned degree will be recognised when you return home. Or if you are a member of Australia's very large Indian diaspora, you will feel more confident that your Indian qualification will be recognised in Australia,” said Albanese during his visit to India.
Growing number of Indian students in Australia
Indian students are now the second biggest cohort of international students in Australia with almost 70,000 nationals studying in Australia at the end of January 2023, according to Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA).
There has been a 160% jump in the number of students arriving from India over the past year, amid a drop in Chinese student enrolments in Australia.