Country overview – India

 The Department of Education and Training manages the Australia-India education relationship through its work with the Government of India and other relevant stakeholders on a range issues related to education, training and research policy and regulation. The Department also works closely with Australian and Indian institutions to facilitate collaboration and linkages.​​




The Australian India Education Council (AIEC), co-chaired by the Australian and Indian Education Ministers, is the principal bi-national body for driving the Australia India education, training and research agenda.

The AIEC meets in conjunction with the annual Australia-India Ministerial Dialogue on Education Cooperation and has a number of working groups to drive joint initiatives in five thematic areas. These Working Groups are focused on skills, student mobility and welfare, quality assurance and recognition, schools and higher education and research.

The AIEC is also supported by the Australia- India Joint Working Group. This group, comprising senior government officials from both countries, meets annually to discuss policy changes and directions.Learn more about Australia and India's education and training partnership, including the AIEC and recent news, at the Australia India Education Links website:​​​​

Specific functions of the Counsellor (Education) and the First Secretary (Education) include:

  • Providing high level strategic policy advice to the Australian Government on issues related to engagement with India on education, training and research
  • Developing and strengthening government-to-government links through engagement with the Ministry of Human Resources Development, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, University Grants Commission, Association of Indian Universities  and peak Indian industry bodies
  • Monitor and support work under the AIEC.

Specific initiatives of the Department include:

  • Monitoring and delivering activities under the AIEC Working Groups
  •  Activities stemming from Australian and Indian Government agreements and policy directives
  • Facilitating and fostering linkages between Australian and Indian education institutions
  • Managing the Endeavour Awards as the part of the Australia Awards program
  • Supporting activities of the alumni networks in India
  • Providing strategic policy advice on developments within India’s education and training sector.

More information on the activities and functions of the Department is available at


Background to the India-Australia Education, Training and Research Relationship

In their  September 2014 Joint Statement, the Prime Ministers of Australia and India agreed the two countries continue to be enriched by high quality knowledge partnerships in education, training and research that support mutual efforts towards greater economic and social progress.

Cooperation in education and training is an important and significant aspect of the bilateral relationship between Australia and India. Both countries recognise that education is central to sustained, inclusive and equitable growth.

The Governments of Australia and India recognise that the bilateral relationship is a mature and productive one and is based on a long standing history of cooperation and exchange to the benefit of both countries. This is achieved through a focus on policy dialogue, information sharing and partnership.

People-to-people links are at the heart of the bilateral relationship. Students studying in both countries play an important role in building bridges of friendship and understanding and are a significant resource for future development of the relationship.

Education and Training agreement with India

The Australian Minister of Education and Training and India’s Minister of Human Resource Development signed an MoU on Cooperation in Education and Training in 2003. The MoU has gained strength through regular Ministerial dialogues leading to the latest Joint Communique which was signed in 2013. In addition, there have been Government to Government agreements listed below.​

Education, Training and Science MoUs with India

On 23 October 2003, the Australian Minister for Education, Science and Training and India’s Minister for Human Resource Development signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Cooperation in Education and Training (also referred to as the Education Exchange Program). This was followed by successful Joint Working Group (JWG) meetings under the MoU in Canberra in 2005, New Delhi September 2008 and October 2009 and again in Canberra in 2011.

New Delhi post also has responsibility for education cooperation activities with Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Maldives.