By: Jitin Chadha
Best of both worlds
Until recently, students in India had two options for higher education: study in India or study abroad. There was no middle path for those who could not afford the second option. There was also a situation of excess demand for admission to colleges in India leading to skyrocketing cut-offs, cut-throat competition, and entrance exams.
However, over the last decade, collaborations between Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in India and abroad have been forged. Often referred to as transnational education, these have so far been outside the regulatory purview of the Indian government. But with the National Education Policy 2020, the government seems to have realised that institutionalising transnational education is in the best interests of the Indian college student.
Obviously this will take time and until then collaborations with leading foreign HEIs will give Indian students access to the best curricula, teacher-learning and other practices and institutional processes. Annexure V of the 2021 Budget mentions putting in place “a regulatory mechanism to permit dual degrees, joint degrees, twinning arrangements and other such mechanisms”. Along with the NEP’s recommendation to allow the world’s top 100 universities to open branches in India, this will give Indian students the benefits of an undiluted world-class education.
The advantages for the local economy are also substantial, with the transfer of best practices creating potential to build high-quality teaching and research capacity. Most jobs created in such collaborative models ensue to the local population, and a lion’s share of the income and wealth will also be ploughed back into the domestic society and economy. Not to mention the learning for the sector at large through the transfer of education management and operational best practices (eg. with regard to quality control), which can be replicated to set up robust home-grown institutions.
According to modern macroeconomics, human capital formation is one of the most important factors driving economic growth and development. In forming our human capital, therefore, we must not hesitate to ‘stand on the shoulders of giants’.
The writer is Founder and Director, Indian School of Business & Finance, New Delhi
Docente - Investigadora Educativa.
Doctora en Cs. de la Educación, Magíster en Desarrollo Curricular y Licenciada en Relaciones Industriales.