Educational ties between Australia and India have been bolstered with the signing of a strategic partnership between Monash University in Melbourne and Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) in Mumbai.
The TISS-Monash Strategic Partnership Agreement will involve a number of initiatives including research collaborations, educational programs, industry partnerships and a joint PhD program between the two institutions.
It was signed virtually late yesterday at Monash University’s Clayton campus and streamed online in India.
Focus areas of the partnership will include collaborative research in the humanities and social sciences across topics including the impact of COVID-19 on family violence, as well as criminology, gender, human rights and sustainability.
Monash’s Faculty of Arts and TISS have successfully collaborated for more than three years, initially through the faculty’s groundbreaking mobility program Global Immersion Guarantee (GIG), with TISS hosting a cohort of Monash Arts GIG students in late 2018, and another in early 2019.
Students from Monash have also been placed in international internships with TISS partners and an in-bound student program was established at Monash in 2018 supporting postgraduate students from TISS to travel to Melbourne and take part in an intensive study program and a symposium.
The virtual signing involved a number of representatives from Monash, including President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Margaret Gardner AC and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) and Senior Vice-President Professor Sharon Pickering.
Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Surinder Jaswal and Chairperson, Office for International Affairs and Dean, School of Vocational Education Professor Madhushree Sekher were among the representatives from TISS, as well as Mr Peter Truswell, the Australian Consul General and Monash alumnus based in Mumbai.
“This signing marks the formalisation of a successful collaboration between Monash University and TISS, with both institutions agreeing to continue exploring innovation and opportunity in global education,” Professor Pickering said.
“By formalising this partnership we are reaffirming Monash University’s commitment to ensuring that students graduate with a deep appreciation for India, its culture, dynamic business and innovation sector.
“Beyond that, this is an opportunity to set up our students – in both countries – for a rapidly changing future world of work and ensure they’re capable of undertaking the critical thinking necessary to make sense of the big global developments in their futures.”
TISS Vice-Chancellor Professor Shalini Bharat said: “India’s National Education Policy 2020 has opened a new door for us to achieve our goals towards internationalisation.
“Our positive experience with Australian universities, in particular Monash University, has encouraged us to move forward with renewed commitment to propel global education. We are formulating future plans with Monash in terms of international joint programs and collaborative research.”
Mr Truswell said: “People-to-people links are best developed through personal connections.
“As an alumnus of Monash University, I am especially pleased to launch the Monash University and Tata Institute of Social Sciences’ Strategic Partnership. This collaboration will surely strengthen the people-to-people ties between Australia and India through education – and many other important benefits will follow, whether they be in science, business or culture.”
It is hoped the partnership can be extended across other faculties at Monash that overlap the humanities space.