Global collaborations in higher education is increasingly being seen by education providers in India as a necessary requirement to meet the growing demands of a globalised economy. The Foreign Educational Institutions Bill would facilitate foreign collaborations and help align Indian higher education sector with global standards
By Sheen Joseph
Of late there has been an increase in the number of foreign universities and institutions that have been willing to enter into academic partnerships with educational institutions in India. This development can be traced to the increasing demand for foreign academic degree by Indian students. The desire for foreign degrees seems inevitably due to the higher employability options accompanying the same. Further, the Foreign Educational Institutions (Regulation of Entry and Operation) Bill, 2010 has encouraged educational institutes in India to provide economical and flexible options for students to gain international recognition to their academic programmes. The 1990's saw the opening up of the efforts of delivering education though collaborative ventures. These ventures however have been largely limited to private educational providers. In order to ensure that the process remains sustainable, there is also a need to encourage educational institutes falling under the public system to promote international collaborations.
Quest for Quality Education
The bill will be hailed by many as a remedy to the brain drain phenomenon in India. By bringing foreign education to the doorstep of aspiring students, it envisages to be a win-win situation for all. A few years ago when India had just started to envision the idea of throwing open its gates to foreign universities, institutes like Yale, Oxford and Harvard had queued up for their forays in India. Now, however, fewer names like Imperial College, Duke College, Georgia Tech and Schulich School of Business (York University) are seriously considering setting shop. Many of the big wigs had expressed initial interest, but financial and other constrains have forced them to put a cap to their expansion plans. On the brighter side, some institutes like Schulich School of Business have already put their plans into action and have obtained several tracts of land to set up campuses.
Franchising is one of the means through which international degree programmes are offered in India. Others have included twinning programmes, distance learning through deployment of technology, link programmes and study centres. Academic progranmes of the foreign institutes, in all these methods, move partly or fully to host institutions.
Twinning arrangement seem to be the most preferred method of study as it provides the institutions with an uncomplicated way of delivering transnational study programmes and a foreign degree to its students. It means that the students are simply transferred to the foreign institution. There May be a joint agreement between two or more institutions to recognise a degree programme, so as to enable the student pursuing studies in one institution to have his or her credits accepted by others.
The arrangement May also result in joint or dual foreign degrees. Both the institutions jointly give the final award. The prerequisite for the transfer of credit May be jointly made suitable through a two-way process, wherein foreign students who have attained specific credits in a foreign university are moved to an Indian institute for completion of their credits and gaining an Indian or foreign degree.
Academic partnerships with foreign institutes are also witnessed in the form of course curriculum and syllabi designing, course validation, course monitoring and faculty training. In this it can be noted that foreign academic institutes are taking the lead in subjects pertaining to course designing and course validation, while in matters related to course delivery, inspection of applications and examination arrangements, it is the Indian academic institute that takes the primary responsibility.
International Exposure for Law Students: The Jindal Experience
“History has shown that excellence in education always leads to economic growth and development”
Jindal Global Law School (JGLS) at Sonepat, the flagship school of O.P. Jindal Global University (JGU), has been established with the objective of imparting globalized education and for producing world-class professionals, scholars, and academics in law. The Sonepat-based institution was recognised as a full-fledged university under the Haryana Private Universities (Second Amendment) Act, 2009.
Prof C Rajkumar, Vice Chancellor, Jindal Global University (JGU) and Dean, JGLS, provides us his views on why foreign collaborations are gaining popularity in India.
Prof C Rajkumar
What is the importance of foreign collaborations for Indian universities?
JGU admits students on the basis of the Indian version of the Law School Admission Test (L-SAT). Any specific reason for adopting LSAT?
The Government of India approved a bill to allow foreign education providers to set up campuses in India and offer degrees. What impact will it have on education in India?
Characteristics of Transnational Programmes
Regular full time classroom courses are seen as the most preferred medium of delivering academic courses, although with the advancement of technology and virtual classroom provisions, distance education mode is increasingly gaining ground.
The Foreign Educational Institutions (Regulation of Entry and Operation) Bill, 2010 In a bid to allow foreign universities to set campuses in India, the Union Cabinet in March 2010 ratified the entrance of foreign universities thereby ushering an era of competitiveness and achieving distinction in higher education. Skeptics though express concerns and believe that foreign institutions May not necessarily be the panacea for addressing problems of quality in higher education. Nevertheless, the Bill is a historic step in India. The Foreign Educational Institutions (Regulation of Entry and Operation) Bill, 2010 allows foreign universities to decide their structure for fees, admission criterion, and related activities. They will also be exempted from the quota system in educational institutes. Additionally, they need to furnish a corpus amount of 54 crore deposit to the UGC that is the registering body. Several educational institutes including Georgia Tech, USA, and Imperial College and Duke College of United Kingdom are eagerly waiting to open branches in India.
Flying tutor provision also exists in several institutions. Some leading universities from the US and UK have entered into collaborative alliance with Indian universities in the field of higher education and research through the use of e-learning and EDUSAT. A large number of foreign academic programmes are highly focused on developing relevant industry related skills, and therefore, arrangements to facilitate regular interface with the industry by conducting collaborative workshops and integrating industrial training modules are promoted as a part of their programmes. International leadership programmes are offered by several institutes, as well as training in soft skills to match global requirements. The method adopted for transaction of delivering foreign education programmes is participatory, inculcates skills of articulation, and provides larger fields of exposure than classroom teaching. The aim is to develop diverse range of skills thereby enabling students to compete in the global market.