Educate In India: A half-open door policy

Educate In India: A half-open door policy

Educate In India: A half-open door policy

Pertinent academic underpinnings propose that higher education, continuous professional development and training provide numerous opportunities for societal progression. Today, education transcends curriculum programmes. It provides opportunities for social mobility. Therefore, interventions in education leadership may play a significant role in shaping key performance indicators for social outcomes.

Indians seem to be fascinated by foreign degrees. According to a 2006 report[1], 123,559 students from India migrated to study abroad. Also, foreign universities seem to have been lured by the potential in the Indian education sector. Foreign universities like Schulich School of Business of Canada’s, York University are considering opening their campuses in India.[2]

Considering the aforementioned facts, there was a flagship initiative, proposed to improve higher education in India. The “Foreign Educational Institution (Regulation of Entry and Operation) Bill”, was passed by the Cabinet in 2010, but it lapsed. There is a rising debate with the new BJP government deciding to revise the 2010 bill and promote “Educate in India”. Keeping in mind that although the rising school grades and college cut-offs point towards improvement in education; other indicators points towards stagnation in science, technology and innovation. In other words, scoring high marks does not necessarily mean learning well, at least in India. This brings us to the discussion on the unchanneled nature of internationalization of higher education in the country.

Firstly, a policy decision for an educational hub could mean that the state intends to either move from a manufacturing/natural resource economy to a knowledge based economy i.e. it is mainly to attract foreign investment, or to promote high quality education. However, it cannot be discounted that the policy formulations are majorly lopsided to facilitate either.

Secondly, India still ranks medium in HDI, in such a case what would incentivize the people from other countries to come down to India?

Lastly, students seek foreign universities for the quality of education and brand value, which acts as an added incentive in the employment market. Can the quality and brand value be replicated in India? There is also a sense of cross culture learning, when one moves to a foreign land. Moreover, these foreign campuses prefers to maintain dichotomy of cultures. The question is how can this varsity be retained once these institutes open campus elsewhere?

India has responded to internationalization of higher education much later than its neighbours in the South East. The present drive is a fallout of the Government’s expressly proclaimed policy of economic liberalism. India has all the right potential to turn into an Educational Hub where cities like Pune and Bangalore are ideal for such a plan. However, India should also note that, we lack institutions to provide quality education to our own young population. None of the Indian institutes is amongst world premier rankings.

It is understood that every economy strives for improvement, and one needs to evolve over the existing pattern of norms and rules, however, it is necessary to understand that unlike business profit making models, education system evolves over time. They cannot be altered overnight. So, before any such policy change, we should probably address more pertinent issues than internationalizing education.

By – Anukshya Konwar

Programme Manager – Livelihood

Fiinovation


Sources:

[1] Global Education Digest, 2006 – Comparing Education Statistics Across the world, published by UNESCO

Institute for Statistics, 2006, Page 135.

[2] Times of India, March 18, 2012 <http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/education/news/UKs WarwickBusiness-School-eyes-Delhi-campus/articleshow/12310144.cms>

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