UK and India agree to Mutual Recognition of Qualifications

By Kealan Finnegan

On Thursday 21 July, the UK and Indian Governments signed an MoU officially recognising each other’s higher education qualifications. The Memorandum of Understanding means A-levels and their equivalents, undergraduate and postgraduate degrees will now be recognised in India. It will allow Indian students who graduate from British universities to apply for postgraduate qualifications, or embark on government careers that require university qualifications, wh­en they return home.

Mutual Recognition of Qualifications has been an objective for businesses, students and universities for a long time. The UKIBC, through our government connections, have advocated for this reform for several years, including in our 2019 UKIBC report, ‘Higher Education Collaboration: Futureproofing the UK India Partnership’, which collated the findings of a survey of leading UK universities keen to engage more effectively with India, and identified the reforms needed to enable them to do so. A Mutual Recognition of Qualifications Agreement emerged as the single most desired reform, chosen by more than 70 percent respondents.

Building mutually effective higher education collaboration between the UK and India will enable students to seamlessly transition between the two countries, improve the skills-base, cement institutional partnerships, catalyse greater research collaboration and increase bilateral investment and trade flows, ultimately resulting in more jobs and prosperity in both countries.

Indeed, this will not only support the sharing of students, staff, knowledge, and best practice but also result in better education for students but brings our societies closer together, strengthening the living bridge that binds the UK and India.

Overseas and prospective Indian students would gain the confidence and assurance to take up studies abroad before returning for employment in India.

Recognition of qualifications will also help employers in India to find graduates with the necessary skills to support their business. Currently, the lack of recognition means that suitable candidates are missing out on opportunities and thus not able to contribute to the Indian economy.

And finally, mutual recognition of qualifications will be a true gamechanger for India’s Higher Education system as it will give a real boost to internationalisation and will attract more foreign students to come and study in India – two of the key objectives of the NEP 2020.

We applaud both UK and Indian Governments and all stakeholders in this brilliant advocacy win.

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