Innovative Australian universities cooperate to strengthen Australia-India education partnership

Members of the Innovative Research Universities (IRU) have confirmed their intent to work together on a strategic initiative to strengthen the relationship between Australia and India.

Six members of the IRU have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to explore the opportunity for a new consortium approach to the in-country delivery of Australian degrees in India. This would be the first time that a group of Australian universities has teamed up to deliver offshore education in this way.

IRU Chair Professor Paddy Nixon (Vice-Chancellor, University of Canberra) said the group is creating new ways of working to deliver on the education policy priorities of both the Australian and Indian Governments.

“Our universities share with both governments a deep commitment to expanding access and equity in higher education,” he said.

“Both Minister Clare and Minister Pradhan have been clear about the opportunity for Australian universities to play a greater role in helping to achieve the goal of 50% participation in higher education in India.

“This new consortium approach builds upon the existing strong links that our universities already have with partners in India, including more than 100 joint programs with Indian institutions to support student mobility, dual degrees and research collaboration.”

IRU Executive Director Paul Harris is in India today to present Minister Clare and Minister Pradhan with the signed MoU. He said the group has a history of successful cooperation on international initiatives.

“IRU members have a proven track record of working well together on international collaboration,” he said. “This year the IRU celebrates its 20th anniversary and since our founding our members have collaborated to develop innovative models for international engagement at scale.”

“This initiative marks the next phase in our collaboration and will help our universities to build their presence and profile in India for the future. Our collaboration reflects the shared priorities and values in the IRU Strategy 2022-27: increasing access and equity in higher education; high-quality research that delivers impact for communities; and strengthening partnerships across the Indo-Pacific region.”

6 November 2023