Although new in India, The Foreign Educational Institutions Bill is something that is already prevalent fully or partially in many other countries of the world. Few years ago, Singapore opened the doors of its education policy to allow foreign players to set camp. In 2003, China even partially opened its doors to foreign universities but collaborating closely with state institutions for better monitoring. Currently the underlying question is, Is the ‘Opening up of education sector in India to foreign universities a boon or a bane’ Objectives of the Study Conducting study to understand the mindset of students, both Indian nationals as well as foreign students, residing in India and abroad, in reference to the passing of the bill. * Analyzing the effects of the bill on India as well as the outside world. * Studying the need and relevance of setting up of Foreign Universities in India. * Comparison of advantages and disadvantages of the setup of Foreign Universities financially, culturally as well as academically. * Research on whether the present educational system caters to the needs of all classes of Indian society, in preparation for the outside world.
Methodology * Primary data collection: By means of conducting interviews with both Indian and International students in India. Handing out of questionnaires, collection of expert opinion on the issue. * Secondary data collection: Reports and Newspaper articles, Magazines, News telecast, Internet reports and Statistics. Student opinions– Indian and International Statistics prove that more than one lakh Indian students go out every year in pursuit of higher education, outside of India.
Most of these students go out of the country to further their studies because of lack facilities for quality education in the country. This also costs a huge foreign exchange outgo. Similarly, a large no of international students get attracted to study in India, due to its low cost, impartation of what some would regard as quality education, financial assistance and its unique courses. But conducting an independent survey on students residing in India, as well as those of Indian origin residing abroad, we wanted to understand if how it would impact their decision if a foreign university of International tandard was set up close to where they reside in India. It is quite natural to receive mixed reviews as this issue is more or less subjective in nature. Different people view it differently as per their interests. According to Raina Jadav, an Economics student from the small city of Panhala,: “Many people fail to understand that the bill does not offer social justice to all, it only benefits the elite class. With majority of the population being the Middle or the Low class, the poor people will not be able to get their children in these institutions.
Government should prioritize the situation and provide scholarships and loans, especially to bright students”. Note: If foreign universities come to India , the cost of establishments for them would be quite LOW as compared to Indian universities because the value of their currency would be more. American universities have a two-track system for admissions. They admit highly talented students from the poor families with attractive scholarships; they also attract the less able, rich students who contribute to their endowments which, in turn, help them attract competent, but poor students.
It is likely that they will follow a similar policy here too but admit a larger share of rich students. Arwa Al-Saheem, a Sudanese student residing in Saudi Arabia, (a developed country providing college education only to its citizens), and pursuing a degree in petrochemical engineering shared her opinions: “I came to India from Saudi Arabia as admissions had already closed for Malaysian universities, and India was second in my list.
Though education here is quite affordable, and the cost of living is not too high, I am a little disappointed with the classroom-teaching approach that universities follow here instead of the lecture approach. The opening of foreign universities here, regardless of their grading, will definitely give unlimited exposure to international education, as well as improve the quality of the educational sector. If I had the choice, I would have definitely opted to study for a foreign university in India, as cost is incomparable to the benefits I would be getting out of it”.
Note: We should keep in mind that families and youth have different objectives; not all of them pertain to getting good quality education. If the bill does attract the world’s top universities, it is likely to benefit Indian education and India. But because it is not clear what the objectives of those universities are, if they want to attract talented Indian youth and set their fees accordingly, they will definitely do good. If they want to take advantage of those gullible and admit mostly rich students of inferior ability, they are not likely to do much good.
Chris Dsouza, an Arts student who lived most of his student life in Bangalore, and is currently studying in Massachusetts, USA, strongly feels that passing of the bill is one of the best decisions passed by the Bar Council of India. “What gives the Western Countries a competitive edge in education is the choices that they offer to those interested in studying there. In USA, for e. g. , we find Universities from all over the world, to cater to the different societies living there.
Education was more or less of a theoretical nature, but now I’m able to apply my knowledge practically, which is prepared me for real life. And since education is much more expensive here due to the high standard of living, I’m sure that lower costs there will attract a larger audience, and help reduce the brain drain epidemic” Note: It is most likely that the foreign universities will have an impact the culture of the top Indian universities, but not on most of the second-rate ones. By improving academic freedom, they will add an advantage, mainly because academic freedom has been rapidly eroding in India.
Moreover, In India, the country sends abroad over 150,000 students every year for higher education, and, in the process spends $10 billion to $12 billion. This is a huge investment that deserves to be saved. Foreign universities will help India retain that money to a certain extent. Need and Relevance of Setting up Foreign Universities in India 1. To Raise its educational Standards Although India has the world’s third largest educational system, with more than 13 million students, it only educates around 12 per cent of the age group.
Thus, it is a challenge of providing access to India’s expanding population of young people and rapidly growing middle class. India also faces a quality problem pertaining to its education— given that only a proportion of the higher education sector can meet international standards and all of them in the Technology, Management and Research fields. The reservation of up to 50% of seats in universities to various disadvantaged social groups, places enormous stress on the system. 2.
To address the problem of capacity Due to underinvestment in the educational system for decades, roughly one third of people from India remain illiterate since Independence. While making primary education free and compulsory tackles a larger share of the problem, scarcity of trained teachers and inadequate budgets disadvantage the scheme. Therefore, the establishment of world class universities all over India, will most likely succeed in providing qualified professors and covering up those inadequate funds. . The Foreign Experience Foreigners carry with them new ideas on higher education management, curriculum, teaching methods, and research, from their homelands. Top-class foreign universities will add prestige to India’s higher education system, including academic innovation. And since the new law requires a minimum investment of $11 million, the amount that will be brought to India is likely to be large, thus providing the much need investment in quality education. Limitations of the Bill 1.
Leading universities are not driven by a desire to lower labour costs or increase profits, Instead, India should be appeal to attract the world’s most able students. 2. The bill ignores the reality that, even with the huge growth in opportunities in the Indian economy, most students are motivated to study abroad for a chance to get a job in that country after graduation. 3. Most universities look to establish foreign campuses where they are likely to be offered generous incentives that both reduce upfront costs and the risks associated with global expansion. India is not proposing any such inancial incentives. 4. Attracting those who opt for PhD, and can publish in the worlds’ leading journals or their peers from other countries to campuses in India would mean paying competitive salaries that would erase India’s cost advantage The combined effect of the above factors is that those institutions which are most likely to be attracted to the Indian market are those that the Indian government least wants: the lower-quality providers that treat higher education as a way to make money, rather than focusing on world-class research and the quality of the learning experience.
Conclusion As the outcome of our research, we discovered that majority of the interviewees considered the opening up of foreign universities in India to be a boon. If these foreign universities that are to be set up cater to all sections of the society, (not just targeting the upper and middle class), and offer quality education thus opening doors for Indian and well as International Youth for better Paying job oppurtunities, it will most definitely be a very profitable long term investment.
Whereas, if these universities set up branches just as a way to earn money while providing less quality education, it might turn out to be one of India’s biggest economic and educational nightmares. But, every endeavour has certain risks involved. Therefore, investing in such endeavours could be fruitful for the economy as a whole. Thanking You, and your valuable time in reading our Article is much appreciated. Your Suggestions and Feedback are very much welcome.