Thousands of youth in India and the United Kingdom have a bonanza in the offing with the two countries signing an agreement on July 21 to recognise each other’s higher educational degrees.
Indian Senior Secondary School/ Pre-University certificates will now be considered suitable for entry into UK higher education institutions. Similarly, the Bachelor degree, Master’s degree and Doctoral degree of India and the UK will also be considered equivalent to each other.
The two countries also inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on recognition of maritime education qualification, and a framework agreement on healthcare workforce.
The Memorandum of Understanding, part of the UK-India Enhanced Trade Partnership (ETP) agreed by Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and his UK counterpart Boris Johnson last year, means UK A-levels and their equivalents, undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, with exception of professional degree, will now be recognised in India. The move is part of a 10-year roadmap to strengthen bilateral ties.
The landmark agreement will allow Indian students who graduate from British universities to apply for postgraduate courses or to embark on Government careers requiring university qualifications on returning home. Also, Indian students with degree from Indian colleges and universities will now be treated on a par with UK degree and will be eligible for jobs in the UK.
“From today onwards, UK degrees will be recognised as equivalent to Indian degree. You can take a degree there and will be eligible for employment here… this covers 90 per cent of the graduates,” said BVR Subrahmanyam, Commerce Secretary, Government of India.
Highlighting the importance of the agreement, UK’s Secretary of State for Education James Cleverly said, “This agreement builds on our UK-India partnership and removes barriers so even more of the best and brightest students from India can study here, boosting our economy and enriching our campuses and communities.”
Vivienne Stern, Chief Executive, Universities UK International (UUKi) described the pact on educational qualifications as a “landmark, historic agreement”. He said: “Qualifications students receive will be recognised on both sides, making it easier for students to progress in education and move into jobs.”
Sharing her opinion, Barbara Wickham, Director India, British Council, said, “The agreement will support even greater collaboration between our higher education sectors, nurture globally ready graduates through an increasingly internationalised education, and further enable joint education, research and innovation initiatives to explore solutions for shared global challenges.” Both sides signed two more MoUs on recognition of educational qualifications.
The first agreement will pave the way for the two governments to mutually recognise the certificates of maritime education and training, competency and endorsements of seafarers issued by each other. The second agreement will lead to cooperation in Nursing & Allied Health Professionals (AHPs), training of healthcare professionals and measures to bridge the skill gap.
In a related development, Indian students who wish to study in Australia can also breathe a sigh of relief as after discussions with Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Australian Education Minister Jason Clares has promised speedy resolution of visa-related problems of Indian students enrolled in Australian universities and educational institutions.
The two ministers discussed strengthening of collaboration between the countries in education and skill development sectors in a virtual meeting on July 21.