United Kingdom: Agreement Between UK and India Provides Mutual Recognition for Higher Education Qualifications
On July 21, 2022, the governments of the United Kingdom (U.K.) and India signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to recognize each other’s higher education qualifications. The MOU will enable Indian students who graduate from a British university to apply for postgraduate qualifications in India or use their British qualifications to obtain employment in the public sector upon their return to India. Students who have obtained undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctoral degrees in India will be eligible for higher educational studies in the U.K. Professional degrees in some fields are excluded from the terms of the MOU, including those in engineering, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, law, and architecture. In 2020–21, 84,555 students from India came to the U.K. to study, and British students frequently go to India to study under the Turing Scheme . The U.K. government’s announcement of the pact stated that “[t]he agreement will make UK universities even more appealing to Indian applicants and is likely to provide an economic boost, as the benefit to the UK of welcoming non-EU students is estimated by industry to be around 109,000 pounds [around US$131,000] per person.” The government also stated the MOU will “increase the potential for UK nationals to travel to India to study, allowing them more choice and broadening their academic and educational horizons, as well as opening the door for institutions to create courses that can be delivered in both countries.” This MOU is one of three that was signed on July 21, 2022, by the U.K. and Indian governments. The other two MOUs concern the mutual recognition of seafarers qualifications and the mutual recognition of nursing qualifications and licensing and registration procedures, as well as enabling Indian nurses and nursing associates to work and train in the U.K.’s National Health Service. The three MOUs are steps towards the Enhanced Trade Partnership between the U.K. and India, which was announced in the Roadmap 2030 for a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and aims to create a comprehensive free trade agreement between the two countries.