The education system in India is criticized by various eminent personalities as "India has an examination system but not an education system." Some have said that, "Education system in India is creating huge income inequality gap, even within same group of educated people". For instance, Suppose, Mr. P who completed his M.B.A. from VSIM Khed and suppose Mr. Q, completed his M.B.A. from JBIM,Mumbai. Both have learnt same curriculum, but Mr. Q is getting twice to Mr. P and even Mr. Q is getting half of the R, who is completed M.B.A. from IIM, Ahmedabad. Suppose Mr. S, who is completed M.B.A. from Harvard University is getting twice of Mr. R because education in best institute like IIM, Ahmedabad is also not at par to the Harvard or any other best institution in the advanced countries.
The above example is just to show the present state of the education system in India. The proportion may or may not be exact but the situation is in some way like this.
To universalize the higher and technical education (HTE) in remote areas and to stop the tendency of urban aspirants to go abroad for higher education, joint venture or collaboration between domestic and foreign universities or between educational institutes is inevitable in future era. The proposed FDI in educational sector will take some time for implementation, till that day International Academic Collaboration (IAC) is the best option.
To get foreign university degree is prestigious.
It will solve the problem of unrealized demand of quality education. It will give choice to students and expands higher education offerings in India. It will improve culture of research in India.
Due to development in ICT virtual class rooms or e-learning is possible, absence of face-to-face teaching is not considered as a draw back in knowledge economy.
Easy accessibility to reputed universities/institutes like Oxford, Harvard and Stanford universities.
It helps in capacity building, human resource development, practical and relevant education, professional training, broadening one's outlook, acceptance of multiculturalism, ethnic or linguistic diversities, etc.
It delivers global standard education, that's why person can easily access for global employment.
SCOPE FOR IAC IN INDIA
In India majority of students study in private colleges, some which have public support from the state governments and a growing number that are "unaided" and do not have public support. Tuition levels vary in the private sector and are some cases regulated by government authorities. Out 70% of higher education institutions are privately managed. They are affiliated to public universities or open learning centers. There are only 10 private universities. (Asha Gupta ,2007)
India looms large on the international higher education scene and will become much more central in the future. In 2008, approximately 2 lakh Indians and 8.92 lakh Chinese were studying abroad; these numbers constituted close to half of the world's total of international students (Agarwal2008). The main reasons, in India even in China, insufficient number elite universities for the brightest students. Insufficient numbers of places in the academic systems exist for the expanding number of aspirants, and an unknown number of young people will seek foreign education as a first step toward emigration (Agarwal, 2008,Altbach 2006). Students, who are not top rankers in university/entrance exams, prefer to obtain degree from abroad university than local less prestigious university. The growing middle class can increasingly afford to send their children abroad. (Agarwal, 2008,Altbach 2006). India has the advantage of 350 million middle class willing to invest into quality higher education. India has demographic advantage of having 60% of its population below the age of 25. India has great potential of becoming a hub for Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO), especially in legal services, data analysis, animation and design, business and market research, biotechnological and intellectual property research. The economic growth is led by private sector that is willing to invest into higher education and professional training. India spends only 0.68% of its GDP on higher education. Only 13% of the youth have access to higher education (Asha Gupta ,2007). Foreign involvement is already significant and considerable potential for expansion can be envisaged.
At least 150 foreign academic institutions had various kinds of joint-degree or other collaborative arrangement in India, with the largest number 66 from the United States, second largest 59 from Britain (Helms 2008). Most collaborations offer professional programs. News report indicate strong international interest in India, and once legislation is in place the pace of collaboration and involvement is likely to increase significantly.
India is in process of making of laws to regulate foreign collaboration. The role of independent branch campuses, ownership of institutions, the role of private and the for-profit sectors, quality assurance for foreign institutions, the role of franchised overseas degree programs, and other complex issues have proved controversial hence AICTE has established clear guidelines for foreign collaborations.
On the flip side, there are number of barriers for foreign stakeholders for starting branch campuses in India. Such as large endowments expected of foreign universities, remittances/profits not allowed, government plans to impose social responsibility even on foreign universities, such as free ships, reservation etc., too many regulations, very little support, no clear legal direction, frequent judicial interventions and lastly too much politics, less business(Asha Gupta ,2007)
WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE?
Be prepared for IAC. Initial contact through summer internship, seminars, webinars and campus tour will establish inter relationship between institutes.
Instead of imposing too much restrictions, provide academic freedom in relation to curriculum, contents, practical and staff qualification.
It is important to set up international organization for listing and standardization of performance in delivering services for educational institutes going abroad to check their reliability and reduce danger of fake or low standard universities.
It is important to be sensitive to local culture, languages and needs as providers or receivers of International Academic services.
Strengthen the regulatory framework for fee regulation and other facilities must be provided for the students' happy learning.
It needs blending of national and foreign, academic and vocational, face to face and distance, job oriented and lifelong learning in various permutations and combinations. Innovative courses to be provided suitable to local and global needs.
There can be a separate set up for domestic and foreign providers. Assessment and accreditation can be mandatory or voluntary.
Internationalization of education should be seen as a contribution towards human, social, cultural, scientific and economic development.
There should be proper guidelines for all the stakeholders and providers for short-term and long-term partnerships in mutual interest.
Support from the Ministry for establishment of collaborative organization.
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