IIE Network - Fall 2013 - (Page 38)

THE FUTURE OF INTERNATIONALIZATION India: Expansion, Equity, Excellence By P.J. Lavakare INDIA HAS NEARLY 26 million students enrolled in its higher educational system, which consists of more than 45,000 higher educational institutions. Though these numbers though look impressive, they hide a great national concern: a 16 percent gross enrollment ratio (GER), that shows a large number of young people aren’t even enrolling at higher education institutions. Not surprisingly, because of these low enrollment figures, India has kept the process of internationalization on the back burner. India today is more concerned about the expansion of its higher education capacity and is focusing on opening up several new universities and professional institutions. In focusing on expansion, the country will enhance the quality of higher education, and will ensure that its institutions become more accessible to more socioeconomically disadvantaged youth. Internationalization can serve as a catalyst in this process. This article will describe the present challenges facing India, and will examine where and how the process of internationalization can help face these challenges. It will suggest some measures to engage India with the international community. It will also attempt to make the international community aware of India’s needs and at the same time open up India’s doors to the new era of international education. Higher Education Challenges in India – The Role of Internationalization During the past two decades, India has undergone major economic reforms, which have impacted various sectors of development, among them higher education. The Prime Minister’s National Knowledge Commission (NKC) recently commisioned a review of the status of higher education in India. The recommendations of NKC highlighted the following three areas, known as the “three Es”: 1. Expansion 2. Equity (and access) 3. Excellence Internationalization of higher education would enhance each of these three focus items. India needs to expand its educational infrastructure and grow the number of educational 38 During the past two decades, India has undergone major economic reforms, which have impacted various sectors of development, among them higher education. institutions in the country in order to tackle the low GER ratio. The international education community should consider setting up branch campuses in collaboration with Indian institutes to augment the government’s efforts. Equity and access is no doubt a domestic social issue, but in this instance, best practices in other countries could be meaningfully adopted through academic collaborations. Finally, the concern for excellence should not fall by the wayside during expansion. Exchange and training of faculty in international institutions could be beneficial. Good quality faculty and improvement of academic courses in line with world standards would also be of benefit. Student Mobility and Internationalization – Where does India Stand? Mobility of international students is the driving force behind the process of internationalization of higher education. Intermixing of international students on campus is an excellent opportunity for students to get exposed to a variety of world cultures. Indian students have been travelling abroad to countries like the United States, the UK, Australia, Canada and various countries in Europe. However, the percentage of students studying abroad is less than one percent of the total student population. The remaining large fraction does not even cross the national borders for higher studies. Furthermore, only a bare 0.1 percent of the students on our campuses are international students. The net result is that a very large number of India’s students do not have any exposure to international culture and are totally devoid of international experience. This needs to change. India has to have a very aggressive program for the expansion of international students on its campuses. While students from developing countries can be attracted for regular degree studies, students from more developed countries can be attracted by promoting “study in India” programs of short duration. As we expand the enrolment of Indian students in the higher education stream, there should be efforts to enhance the international student component as well. In the coming years, India will contribute, in a big way, to the work force in the global market. If Indian students are not exposed to an “international” culture, it will be difficult for them to be absorbed in the global market. International Institutional Collaboration in Education & Research India has a very good track record of collaboration with foreign universities to set up institutions on Indian soil. Four renowned Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) in Bombay, Kanpur, Delhi and Madras were created in partnership with countries such as the former Soviet Union, the United States, the UK and Germany, who helped the government in the early phases. There are an additional number of concrete bilateral mechanisms at the governmental level that are active in India today. The same spirit of institutional collaboration at the governmental level should be encouraged so that individual universities in partner countries could create campuses in India to enhance the enrolment of Indian and foreign students on Indian soil. Unfortunately, the regulatory mechanisms in India are very restrictive. These rules should be revised to encourage foreign partners to come in. Such a step will not only help in the process of expansion, but will also help contribute to the quality of higher education to meet the goal of excellence mentioned as a challenge faced by Indian higher education system. Future Plans for Internationalization of Higher Education in India To face future challenges for the Indian Higher Education system, the government has just www.iie.org/iienetworker http://www.iie.org/iienetworker

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IIE Network - Fall 2013

A Message from Allan E. Goodman
Megatrends: Predicting the Future of International Education
Considering Study Abroad’s Past to Prepare for its Future
The Promise of International Education: Building a More Just and Elevated Civil Society
Global Research and Commercialization: An Under-the-Radar Next Big Thing
Clustering Innovation and Industry: New Opportunities for Europe
Connecting the Dots: Integrating Engagement with International Stakeholders
The Rise of Real-time, Online International Recruitment
Hold on to Your Hats, MOOCs... Here Come the TOQUES!
The Global Youth Engagement Platform: A Peace Corps for the 21st Century
Growing Globally Competent Students to Achieve True Internationalization
Beyond Ourselves: Embracing Our Global Responsibilities
India: Expansion, Equity, Excellence
The Growing World of Collaborative Internationalization: Taking Partnerships to the Next Level
From Multi-national Universities to Education Hubs to Edu-glomerates?
Advertisers Index
Beyond the Numbers: The Who, How and What of Global Student Mobility

IIE Network - Fall 2013