The Hindu – India, UK in talks over education

Special Correspondent

New Delhi – India, 14 April 2018. India and the United Kingdom (UK) were holding talks to seal an agreement on mutual recognition of educational qualifications, London’s envoy said here on Friday.

Speaking to a group of journalists, Sir Dominic Asquith said that education was a major area of bilateral cooperation between the two sides which was likely to feature in official discussions during the upcoming London visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

One-year masters

“We have 14,000 masters students from India in the UK. Students form an important part of bilateral ties. But the one-year masters degrees given by the UK universities are not recognised in India.

So discussion is under way for an agreement to mutually recognise these degrees. This will open up more opportunities for the students and this also seems to be fair to the students,” Mr Asquith said.

India’s non-recognition of the one-year masters programmes given by various British universities had been an issue between two sides as these courses are popular among Indian students.

One of the factors that had prevented India from recognising the one-year master courses was the fact that several less-reputed educational institutions were also found to be offering such courses, often jeopardising academic prospects of students.

But Mr Asquith assured that the government of Prime Minister Theresa May had undertaken steps to prevent Indian students from falling for such institutions. “We are taking steps against the bogus universities,” said Mr Asquith.

Agreement with France

India last month signed an agreement on mutual recognition of educational degrees with France, during the visit of President Emmanuel Macron to Delhi. The British envoy observed that ongoing talks between London and Delhi were on the lines of the India-France one.

Educational cooperation would be one of the major issues on the table during Prime Minister Modi’s visit to London next week when he is scheduled to participate in the Commonwealth Heads of Governments Meeting (CHOGM) and hold bilateral talks with Prime Minister May’s team.

While international issues like the attempted assassination of an ex-Russian spy and his daughter with nerve chemical agent were expected to be the talking points at the Commonwealth meeting, the bilateral issues like cyber-security cooperation and data protection were also expected to be on top of the agenda.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-uk-in-talks-over-education/article23530874.ece

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