Prof Michael Thorne, Vice Chancellor, Anglia Ruskin University shares his opinion on Foreign Universities Bill in an interview with Mohd Ujaley.
What are the major trends you see in global education?
I think, without any doubt, the future of world for two reasons depends on education. One is to bring the world together for political stability, the more we understand about each other, the better we engage,and secondly, the economies of all the countries are going in the same direction,and will depend on how educated our work force is, so obviously being involved in university education, the most important thing to me is to get educated as many people as possible upto university level.
I also see lot of partnerships happening for capacity building. India is a very vibrant democracy and we need to engage with each other at various levels to improve the quality, increase capacity of our university and teachers.
How do you look at bill pending in Indian Parliament to regulate the operation of foreign university in India?
We look at it other way around, in a country where such partnership are already allowed, it has benefited them in providing
quality education and added to the capacity of a country to get more people educated to university level without a country to spend a lot for making new buildings etc.
We are hopeful that Bill will be passed because this legislation has potential to bring foreign universities to India, thereby increasing the capacity of India to educate more people. Also worldwide, there is shortage of quality staff, so partnerships can bridge this gap. For example, the UK is adding the capacity of university education of Malaysia for many years, although there is still quite a lot Malaysian students come to the UK, but there also very large number of Malaysian students who are being educated same degree in Malaysia in partnership with Malaysian universities, that has really worked well for both the countries.