India


Foreign universities are eagerly waiting to start campuses in India

Dr.T.P.Sethumadhavan

Foreign education bill is expected to be introduced in the forthcoming parliament session. Thus it may become the law during monsoon session of parliament. Widespread discussions are taking place about this bill within the country and abroad. SWOT analysis of this bill reveals that it can create spectacular growth in the higher education and research sector of the country. Indian students can easily access the cutting edge technologies at an affordable cost is one of the major impacts of this bill.

Recent analysis reveals that in 2008-09, around 140 Indian institutions and 156 foreign education providers were involved in academic collaborations. Of which 90 institutions have university status and 20 have college status. Other institutions were for skill development programmes. Total number of collaborations was 225 and with each collaboration having more than one programme delivery, the total number was 635.

Highest numbers of collaborations were in management studies which were around 26 per cent. Engineering and technology which comes around 22 per cent rank second. Next comes Hotel and Hospitality management which is nearly 20 per cent. Of the 225 existing collaborations, 83 are with educational institutions from Britain, followed by 79 from the US.

It is estimated that more than 1.5lakh students from India are studying abroad. If the average expenditure on fees and maintenance is calculated to be at $20000per student per year, it may come around $3 billion a year.

The Foreign Educational Institutions (Regulation of Entry and Operations, Maintenance of Quality and Prevention of Commercialisation) Bill will allow foreign universities to invest at least 51 per cent of the total capital expenditure needed to establish the institute in India. Such institutes will be granted deemed university status under Section 3 of the Universities Grants Commission (UGC) Act, 1956. This Bill aims to regulate the entry, operation and maintenance of quality assurance and prevention of commercialisation by foreign educational institutions, besides protecting the interest of the student community from sub-standard operators.  The Bill will help in bringing in investment in the education sector and also check the flow of Indians to study abroad thus it will increase the standard of education and reverse the flow of faculty

Recently a delegation of Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), which represents America's top universities comprising universities of Chicago, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State University, Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio State, Pennsylvania State, Purdue and Wisconsin-Madison has evinced interest in collaborating with Indian universities. The CIC is known for quality research and its advanced research laboratories. These universities conduct funded research of USD 6.4 billion every year while the funded research of Ivy League universities and the University of California will come around USD 3.27 billion and USD 4.38 billion respectively.
 
This will help Indian universities to take advantage of the high quality research facilities of CIC member institutions. The CIC universities enrol nearly three lakh under-graduate and 76,000 post-graduate students every year and deliver doctoral programmes in nearly 150 areas of research. Moreover nearly 50 foreign institutions, including Boston, Yale and Duke University, have shown interest in setting up campuses in India.  

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