Have you ever dreamt of going abroad to pursue higher education from one of the best universities of the globe? If yes, then the financial incapacity must have been the probable reason to cease that quest. Well now, the dream can come true without going abroad. The government of India is taking necessary steps in accordance with that.
Foreign universities on Indian soil
In a recent move, University Grants Commission released a draft on Thursday which will allows foreign universities to open their campus in India. The draft provides autonomy to the institutes to decide the admission criteria as well as process. They will also be able to decide the fee structure but, that too should be reasonable and transparent. The recruitment of faculty and staff will be done in accordance with the procedures of the institutions only.
The guidelines to set up the institutions are made in line with the NEP 2020. The draft allows the institutes to offer full-time offline courses. In order to set up a campus, any Foreign Higher Education Institute (FHEIs) needs to be in the top 500 ranking defined by the commission from time to time or they should have a good reputation in their country.
In case of subject-wise ranking, the university will have to offer the same discipline course even in India. The guidelines also emphasize that the operations of institutes should not jeopardise the national interest of India. The operations of the FHEIs shall not contradict the integrity and sovereignty of the nation. UGC has notified January18 as the last date for stakeholders for suggestions.
Problems of Indian higher education
Although there are many key institutions in India like, IITs and IIMs, among others which are synonymous to quality education, still there is some sort of vacuum left for higher education institutions. The prime reason for that is the vast population.
This vacuum becomes the opportunity for some private sector institutions many of which enter the field with the vested interest of money making. This has led to educational incompetence as compared to global standards. Resultantly, the ones that are financially capable, seek admissions in top foreign institutions.
While some easily get to the foreign countries, there are many who have the aptitude and appetite for education but are left behind because of financial inability. The cost incurred to study abroad are divided into tuition fee and living cost.
According to reports, the number of students moving abroad using student visa is soaring. As much as 6.5 lakh student have left the country this year, which is 137 per cent more than the previous year. On the economic front, India faced an outflow of approximately $28-30 billion in 2022.
The situation of higher education in India is undoubtedly not good. So, the step will provide immense possibilities for the students. The guidelines and the conditions involved, clearly depict that UGC is no mood to only increase the number of institutions. Instead, it is focused on quality education. The quality of faculty recruitment, transparent and reasonable fee structure, focus on industrial collaboration for placement-oriented education and UGC approved curriculum in line with Indian sentiments are signals of that.
With no requirement of living in the foreign country, the Indian student will be able to study in FHEIs. Along with Indians, student from countries in the subcontinent will also be able to study in those institutions leading to deepening neighbourly relations. With both the above benefits, there will be a halt in capital outflow from India for the purpose of education along with massive increase in capital inflow.
The step that can become the masterstroke
The set-up of FHEIs in India will also bridge the knowledge and technology gap between India and other countries up to some extent. Additionally, the step will create employment and will also lead to development. Eventually, the competitiveness of Indian education will also accelerate.
Although, the step is the gateway of possibilities, there are always cautions to be taken. History has taught us that education is the basic strength of any society and if that becomes corrupt, the society falls. This clearly implies that allowing foreign institutions in India is like giving them access to country’s strength. So, it is the duty of UGC to have a firm hold on the higher education system. If the control is sustained, this step is going to be the masterstroke of the government in the feild of higher education of India.
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