Internationalisation of education essential for India's future growth and development: Pradhan

Internationalisation of education essential for India's future growth and development: Pradhan

Gandhinagar, Nov 7 (PTI) Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Tuesday stressed the need for 'internationalisation' of education, saying it was essential for India's future growth and development.

He was addressing a gathering after visiting the sites of the upcoming campuses of the Australian universities of Deakin and Wollongong at the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City) here along with his Australian counterpart Jason Clare.

The two Australian universities' move of setting up their international campuses at the GIFT City align with the vision outlined in the country's National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, which focuses on internationalisation of education, and the presence of renowned educational institutions in India will not only elevate the quality of education but also empower students with global prospects, Pradhan said.

'Internationalisation of education is essential for India's future growth and development. It allows Indian students to access world class education and research opportunities and helps build bridges with other countries, as it also exposes students to new ideas and prospects and enhances the country's soft power potential,' the Union minister said.

Deakin and Wollongong are the first universities in the world to open international campuses in India. Both the universities announced they will begin courses from July next year, with the former launching its admission process from Tuesday.

Australian Education Minister Clare said while Australia and India are different countries with different challenges, they have the shared vision as they both understand the inherent power of education.

The two Australian universities are contributing towards the transformative power of India's new education policy, he said.

Pradhan said, 'The introduction of these foreign university campuses perfectly align with the vision outlined in the NEP 2020. This transformative policy emphasises internationalisation of education, aiming to create a vibrant, dynamic and inclusive educational environment within our own country.' 'With the presence of renowned international institutions seeking to foster rich cultural and academic environment, where students and faculty from different corners of the world collaborate, learn and grow together, would not only elevate the quality of education but also empower our students with global prospects, essential in today's interconnected world,' he said.

India's rapidly growing economy is complemented by its sizable young population, and the country is making all efforts to sustain a strong educational and skill ecosystem to harness the potential of our demography, the Union minister said.

Challenges such as climate change that the world faces today also present huge opportunities in terms of emerging technologies, and these challenges and opportunities require global cooperation and innovation, he added.

Clare said what Australia and India are doing is something new.

'We are building a future and we are doing it together. Not just students coming to Australia, it is universities coming to India. Not just operating courses but building and operating campuses. It is a physical example of our friendship,' he said.

The campuses are being built on strong foundations, with lots of research partnerships, and skills of hundreds of thousands of Indians who have made their way to Australia over the last two decades to study and come back to bring their skills to build a new India, he said.

He said the universities hope to supercharge the GIFT City.

'Stars are aligned, India and Australia want to work together, everywhere and in every industry. But there is no bigger place for us to start than in education,' he said.

On the occasion, Deakin University announced course offerings and fees. It will launch Masters of Cyber Security and Business Analytics, having a course duration of two years and a tuition fee of Rs 10.7 lakh per annum. March 31, 2024 has been set as the last date for application, and courses are scheduled to commence from July 1, 2024, its Vice Chancellor Iain Martin said.

'We see the strength of this site is its interface with the industry. We want to be part of this knowledge, technology, finance ecosystem here,' he said.

University of Wollongong Vice Chancellor Patricia Davidson announced a global finance centre, and global women fintech cooperation aiming to provide opportunities for network and sponsorship. She said the university will welcome its first students in July next year.

GIFT City MD and CEO Tapan Ray said within 5-7 years, GIFT City will have 64 high rise buildings, giving it a flavour of an international financial centre.

A large number of steps have been taken to see that commercial, residential and social infrastructure are required to make it a thriving financial hub in a short period of time, he said, adding that out of planned 44 million square feet, 22 million square feet of space has been allotted for the development of commercial, residential and social infrastructure.

He said that 17 buildings have already been operationalised, another 13 are under construction, and 17 more planned.

Ray said that 5,000 residential units have already been allotted to help promote the GIFT City's walk to work culture. It will also help the university students to walk to their campuses. More space will be created for the residential area, adding to the existing 5000.

A riverfront will be created on the western flank of the GIFT City, connecting to Ahmedabad. For this, tenders are being evaluated. There will also be an entertainment zone of world class at GIFT City for which expression of interest has been done, and it will be up and running within three years, he added.

The master plan of GIFT City is also being extended by adding another 10-odd square kilometres to make it a 14-square km area.

'The establishment of campuses is a landmark event which will augment the much needed supply chain of talent positively impacting the business system of GIFT City,' he said. PTI KA PD NP

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