India’s Allure

Career College Central summary:

  • Despite the long, slow march to opening India’s higher education sector to foreign institutions and the likely chaos that will ensue when individual states there are handed responsibility for their universities, the ground is still fertile for engagement, the British Council says. In a report released last Friday, the British Council says there is a “sense of urgency” to expand the system at a fast enough pace to meet an impending demographic surge in demand “while increasing quality and ensuring equitable access.”
  • The report, which is aimed at United Kingdom universities but is equally applicable to institutions in other potentially exporting countries, says there are many and diverse opportunities for engagement with India, but that any institution doing so need to take the long view. The report identifies current and emerging areas for U.K.-India collaboration across the Indian higher education sector as a whole, and finds that at present, U.K. engagement is too narrowly focused.
  • It notes while there are plenty of existing partnerships with the handful of elite Indian institutions with international reputations, such as the Indian Institutes of Technology, Indian Institutes of Management, and institutes of national importance, the vast majority of institutions have no contact with overseas universities.
  • The report says India’s current rate of enrollment in postsecondary study is 18 percent, but the government is looking to have a 30 percent enrollment rate by 2020, which will require 14 million new university places in just six years. But even with a stable government and policy agenda, neither of which are assured, the sector is currently “beset by issues” including “a chronic shortage of faculty, poor quality teaching, outdated and rigid curricula and pedagogy, lack of accountability and quality assurance and separation of research and teaching”.

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