Business Standard | 9 July 2013
According to a report commissioned by the Australia India Institute (AII), India is already one of the largest and fastest growing education markets in the world.
“Education spending ranks second only to outlays on food for the average Indian middle class family. Australia, with its robust, best in class VET providers, and institutional framework and quality assurance systems, is well placed to garner a large share of this market among consumers who cannot afford to be trained overseas. Yet Australian providers lag behind their competitors from the UK, Germany and Switzerland in this field,” it said.
To gain access to Indian market, Australian Training and Further Education (TAFEs) should unbundle their high quality training courses and offer simpler training modules at lower cost to students, the report said.
“With public sector funding for VET providers under pressure, serving Asia’s massive skills training demand could be important to securing the TAFE sector’s long-term future,” it said.
The report Skills Challenge: Australia and India’s Skills Training Needs has been published in AII’s latest occasional paper ‘Fearless Nadia’ and has been authored by Prasenjit Kundu.
The report has proposed several steps to capitalise the Indian market which is said to have 25% of the global workforce by 2020 with an average age of its citizens to be at 29 years.
It recommended a Centre of Excellence be established in India, with Australian TAFE educators and trainers heading over to help train new Registered Training Organisations to teach Indians.
A Centre of Excellence serving Australian VET providers who wish to establish themselves in India would fill a critical gap and create low cost-execution enablement for Australian RTOs.
A COE would also offer comprehensive India operational support and accelerate businessto-business collaborations. In doing so, it would bring down overall India engagement costs significantly, and enable a viable business model without compromising on quality. A quick estimation shows the engagement cost reduction may be of the order of 35 to 45%.
The COE would help create a more amenable environment for Australia’s VET providers looking to deliver services in India. It would also provide the requisite oversight and monitoring services. It would not eliminate reputational concerns, but might reduce these to a point where the Indian reality comes to resemble the environment in other developing countries, such as China.
Via TAFE in Victoria