India, UK sign agreement for mutual recognition of educational qualifications

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New Delhi: India and the UK on Thursday signed an agreement for mutual recognition of educational qualifications, a move likely to benefit students going to Britain for higher education.

The two countries also inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on recognition of maritime education qualification, and a framework agreement on healthcare workforce.

The MoU on education provides for mutual recognition of educational qualifications and duration of study undertaken by students within duly approved and recognised higher education institutions in the two countries.

The pact, however, does not cover professional degrees.

On a reciprocal basis, Indian senior secondary school/pre-university certificates will be considered suitable for entry into UK higher education institutions, Commerce Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam said.

Similarly, the bachelor degree, master’s degree and doctoral degree of India and the UK will also be considered equivalent to each other.

Apart from encouraging student mobility, the mutual recognition of qualifications would also promote excellence in higher education through cooperation, academic and research exchanges, the commerce secretary said.

These agreements will facilitate closer alignment on education between India and the UK, enhance short-term bilateral mobility and ensure mutual recognition of qualifications, an official statement said.

These agreements are part of the commitments made between India and the UK under the Enhanced Trade Partnership’ (ETP) launched by the Prime Ministers of the two nations on May 4 last year to unleash the trade potential of the partnership by doubling trade by 2030 and reducing market barriers to trade in key sectors.

Following the launch of ETP, both sides had also launched negotiations for a free trade agreement on January 13, 2022.

The fifth round of negotiations, which is hosted by India, is currently underway in Delhi. The meeting also took stock of the progress made towards the signing of FTA.

On the MoU regarding maritime education qualification, the commerce secretary said that it 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 MoU will prove beneficial for the employment of seafarers of both countries and would make them eligible for employment on ships of either party, the statement said.

India being a seafarer-supplying nation with large pool of trained seafarers, it is expected to be significantly benefitted by the MoU.

The framework agreement on healthcare workforce, include cooperation on nursing and Allied Health Professionals (AHPs), training of healthcare professionals and measures to bridge the skill gap.

The agreement will facilitate the recruitment and training of nurses and AHPs from India by the UK in a streamlined manner.

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