If Bill passed, foreign varsities can come next year, says Sibal

HRD Minister Kapil Sibal on Monday said if the Foreign Education Providers Bill was passed in the current session of Parliament, such providers could set up campuses from the next academic session.

He was speaking at the inaugural session of Australia-India Education Council in the national capital, where around 15 vice-chancellors from Australia, led by Senator Chris Evans and Premier of South Australia Mike Ran, interacted with 14 vice-chancellors of India. The council, set up following a 2008 decision, will now make such an interaction between vice-chancellors an annual event.

The two sides, which discussed issues like credit transfer and student mobility, also tried to explore the area of vocational training. "We are looking at vocational collaboration," Evans said. "We are very strong in vocational training."

The HRD Ministry is already considering adding vocational training as part of curriculum in schools, and a draft is being prepared in this regard. Pilot projects are already on in Haryana.

Among other issues discussed were security of Indian students in Australia, fake universities indulging in profiteering and visa fraud.

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