Recall that Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese visited India last month to sign a mutual recognition agreement with counterpart Narendra Modi to expand work rights and immigration for Indians to Australia.
The accompanying joint statement said that Australia would “facilitate the efficient and timely processing of student visa applications for Indian nationals who are offered admission by Australian universities and other vocational training institutes”.
The mutual recognition agreement “will promote and support the mobility of students, graduates, academic researchers, business people and other professionals now and into the future”.
Anthony Albanese said he would expand Australia’s visa processing capability “to enhance the immigration relationship”.
And most important of all, under the Mechanism for Mutual Recognition of Qualifications, “Indian qualifications will be recognised in Australia”.
This agreement, which was clearly drafted by India, requires Australia to recognise all Indian:
- Senior secondary education qualifications awarded by a relevant board or council of senior secondary education or awarded by any other authority empowered by the Government of India.
- Technical and vocational education and training qualifications awarded by institutions approved by the All-lndia Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and/ or National Council for Vocational Education and Training (NCVET) and/or its equivalent body and State Councils for Vocational Training (SCVT).
- Higher education qualifications awarded by institutions authorised by the University Grants Commission (UGC), the All-lndia Council for Technical Education (AICTE), the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE), as well as other equivalent bodies.
Australia is, therefore, required to recognise Indian vocational and university graduates to be “holding the comparable AQF qualification for the purposes of admission to higher education”.
“The Government of Australia will [also] deem graduates with the qualifications listed in paragraph 12 [directly above] to be holding comparable Australian qualifications for the purposes of general employment, where such qualifications are required”.
In summary, graduates from Indian tertiary institutions will now be allowed to work in Australia on the same terms as local graduates.
I raised the alarm at this prospect, noting that India’s tertiary education system is far inferior to Australia’s, with their best university ranked at a lowly 415th in the world (and the lowest at 1994th!).
India is renowned for churning out degree shovelware and fake qualifications whose holders will now be able to work in Australia under this mutual recognition agreement.
This week, Bloomberg published an alarming report on India’s “worthless college degrees” that serves as a harbinger of what is in store for Australia under Anthony Albanese’s mutual recognition agreement with India.
Bloomberg notes that “business is booming in India’s $117 billion education industry and new colleges are popping up at breakneck speed… inside small apartment buildings or inside shops in marketplaces. Highways are lined with billboards for institutions promising job placements”.
There are now “thousands of small private colleges that don’t have regular classes, employ teachers with little training, use outdated curriculums, and offer no practical experience or job placements”.
“Half of all graduates in India are unemployable in the future due to problems in the education system”, says Bloomberg.
“Many businesses say they struggle to hire because of the mixed quality of education. That’s kept unemployment stubbornly high at more than 7%”.
“Massive billboards with private colleges promising young people degrees and jobs are ubiquitous”, the report reads.
Bloomberg cites the example of twenty-five-year-old Tanmay Mandal, who paid $4,000 for his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering.
“Despite the cost, Mandal says he ended up learning almost nothing about construction from teachers who appeared to have insufficient training themselves. He couldn’t answer technical questions at job interviews, and has been unemployed for the last three years”.
“Many of my friends are also sitting idle without a job”, said Mandal.
Bloomberg then cites a study by Anil Swarup, a former secretary for school education. In 2018, he estimated that of 16,000 colleges handing out bachelor’s qualifications for teachers, a large number existed only in name.
“Calling such so-called degrees as being worthless would be by far an understatement”, said Anil Sadgopal, former university dean and government advisor.
With this mutual recognition agreement, Anthony Albanese has green-lit a tsunami of fake ‘skilled’ migrant arrivals from India that will undercut Australian workers, suppress wage growth and exacerbate housing and infrastructure strains across Australia.
Young Australians will be shut out of rental accommodation and jobs by Indians that are prepared to work for much lower wages. Older Australians will also find themselves increasingly unemployable over 50.
It is another betrayal of Australian workers by a fake “Labor” Party that is every bit as corrupt and neoliberal as the Coalition, only with a woke coat of paint.
Why isn’t Australia’s union movement pushing back?