The UK and India signed last July 21 an agreement officially recognizing each other’s higher education qualifications. The move was welcomed by British universities and students from India who plan to study in the UK.
The Memorandum of Understanding is part of the UK-India Enhanced Trade Partnership (ETP) agreed on by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year. Under the landmark agreement, qualifications for higher education, including bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees, will be recognized in both the UK and India.
Indian upper secondary qualifications will now be recognized as meeting entry requirements of higher education institutions in the UK. In turn, A-levels and their equivalents, undergraduate and postgraduate degrees from the UK will now be recognized in India.
It will also allow Indian students who graduate from British universities to work in government positions that require university qualifications when they go back to India.
What does the agreement mean for international education?
The agreement is expected to expand higher education interaction and cooperation between the two countries and boost opportunities for students in both India and the UK. It is specifically seen to expand international education enrollment from students coming from the two countries.
The UK is already traditionally a popular study destination for Indian students. In fact, for the Fall 2022 intake, there was already a record number of Indian students enrolled in UK universities. The agreement is expected to expand the UK international enrollment further.
Good news for HEIs
The landmark education agreement was welcomed by British universities, especially because the UK, like many other major study-abroad destinations, was coming off a rather difficult couple of years in terms of international student enrollment numbers.
The pandemic and the consequent travel restrictions affected the number of international students coming from India to the UK and other countries. The easing of travel restrictions globally and the reopening of borders early this year have spurred a mild rebound in international enrollment figures, particularly for higher education institutions, or HEIs.The agreement is expected to contribute to the enrollment rebound.
“India is the second-highest resource for international students in the UK, after China. This Memorandum of Agreement will make the UK a more appealing study destination for Indian students who wish to pursue their education abroad,” notes Sanjay Laul, CEO and founder of M Square Media, a global service provider and international education platform. “Conversely, graduates of UK universities may now start looking to India as a new study destination worth considering,” Laul adds.