Faculty of Education Delegation Strengthens Ties and Fosters Collaboration in India
In late September, a delegation of eight University of Melbourne staff, led by Deputy Dean Professor Lindsay Oades, embarked on a visit to India with the aim of strengthening partnerships and engagement in the region. This significant delegation, made possible through the support of two India Diversification grants from Chancellery Global Engagement and Culture, marks a crucial step toward the establishment of the University of Melbourne India Global Centre, scheduled to open in the first half of 2024.
The delegation explored six key cities in India, including Delhi, Pune, Mumbai, Nagpur, Bengaluru, and Chennai, achieving several noteworthy milestones.
Key engagements during the visit encompassed the following:
- A joint conference was held between the Faculty of Education (FOE) and Jindal Global University, where Professor Chi Baik led an enlightening workshop addressing critical issues in higher education.
- Productive meetings were held with prestigious educational institutions, including the Vandanya Institute, Jamia Millia Islamia University, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Amity University, and UNESCO MGIEP.
- Professor Oades conducted meetings with the National Secretary of Higher Education and the National Secretary of School Education and Literacy.
- The delegation actively participated in the University of Melbourne Showcase in Delhi.
- A visit to Savitribai Phule Pune University in Pune further strengthened existing relationships and extended collaboration, particularly in the field of Initial Teacher Education. Members of the team were also warmly received by Symbiosis International University and the Symbiosis School.
- In Mumbai, the delegation attended showcases and alumni events, with a pivotal visit to the Tata Institute of Social Sciences focused on exploring potential collaborations, particularly in relation to evaluating the University of Melbourne School Partnerships Program in India.
- The delegation was hosted by the JIO Institute and Azim Premji University in Bengaluru, to further strengthen academic connections.
- In Chennai, Professors Oades and Professor Russell Cross were hosted by the University of Madras, further enhancing their relationship with the University of Melbourne.
Reflecting on the trip, Professor Lindsay Oades spoke of its success in strengthening ties and forging new, exciting possibilities for research and study in the region.
“The recent delegation to India further strengthened existing partnerships with universities, schools, industry and meetings with key government agencies. This is particularly important to our Faculty due to India’s National Education Policy, which adds three formal years to education in the world’s most populous nation”, Professor Oades said.
India’s National Education Policy, which was launched in July 2020, is a framework for education from primary to higher studies, focusing on diversifying student learning and enhancing accessibility of education nationally.
Professor Russell Cross also found the delegation an enriching experience, adding that a highlight was sharing work related to Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) at both the CSI Bishop Newbigin College of Education and St. Christopher's College.
"In a context where there are 22 official languages recognized in the Constitution, this has been an amazing opportunity to really expand how we think about and work with linguistic diversity across the curriculum. This has been a really valuable experience for learning a lot from each other," Professor Cross said.
The University also proudly launched a new Global Alumni Ambassadors Program in India, providing opportunities for alumni in the country to connect, expand their networks, and engage with the community.
These visits have paved the way for a wealth of collaborations in research, learning, and teaching, strengthening relationships related to both accredited and non-accredited teaching, and exploring potential global mobility opportunities.