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Australia and India strengthen educational ties

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On the first day of a five-day visit to India yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced plans to strengthen the educational ties between India and Australia, in an effort to smooth over relations between the two countries, following the recent Indian student attacks. Gillard said the two countries had agreed to regular talks between representatives from Indian and Australian universities and industry on ways to build collaboration. The dialogue was agreed to during a meeting with India's Human Resources Development Minister, Kapil Sibal, who aims to push through new laws by next July to open India's heavily regulated education sector to foreign interests and introduce foreign campuses. India's plans to open its education sector to foreign universities has also generated attention from the world's top universities, including Yale and Cambridge. Although Indian-Australian relations have been recently strained, Gillard said she hoped both countries could "move onto the next stage and develop broader and deeper collaboration on education."

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