Internationalisation of Higher Education in India



08 May, 2023

Internationalisation of Higher Education in India

India aspires to become a global leader in the education industry and restore its role as a Vishwa Guru. History stands as a testament to the rich diversity and prowess of the Indian Education System. India introduced the concept of Gurukuls. The motive of Gurukuls was not only to impart education but help students live with brotherhood and harmony, which eventually helped them to become effective team players and visionary leaders.

As there was a rise in population and society became more open-minded, education was not only restricted to Brahmans. Hence, over the period of time, prominent universities such as Nalanda University, Takahashila, Vikramshila University, and many others, were established that welcomed students from all walks of life. Today, India is among the most attractive education hubs for international students because of the diversity it offers, and the number of opportunities.

NEP 2020 and Internationalisation

India envisions becoming the global education leader and the first step is to internationalise education. Hence, in the new National Education Policy, 2020, the government laid special emphasis on this and achieve the goal of “Internationalisation at Home”.

The New Education Policy has laid many “path-breaking reforms that aim at a paradigm shift by equipping our students, teachers, and educational institutions with the right competencies and capabilities and creating an enabling and reinvigorated education eco-system for a vibrant new India.”

This policy recognises the urgent need to market India as a top-tier study destination for international students at an affordable cost, thus, re-establishing its status as the Vishwa Guru. In order to achieve this, it pays emphasis on promoting faculty and student mobility, developing global research collaborations, streamlining admission procedures for international students, and exploring the viability of transferring degrees among institutions across borders, and other facilities.

Tie-up of British Council with Government of Maharashtra for Internationalisation of Higher Education

Over the period of time, India has taken many measures to internationalise higher education. Most recently, in April 2023, the Department of Higher and Technical Education, Government of Maharashtra signed MoU with British Council. With the motive to encourage educational and cultural exchange, the MoU will promote the state’s aspirations for skill development which will by far help the economy.

The two entities have entered into the agreement with a mutual interest to empower students with skills development. Additionally, the British Council will honour the agreement by offering the state facilities such as research and mobility to encourage the internationalisation of education. It will also offer face-to-face and virtual workshops, training, and mentoring for leadership development.

Foreign Universities Soon to Open Campus in India

“Presence of Foreign Higher Education Institutions here will enable Indian students obtain foreign qualifications at affordable cost, and make India an attractive study destination.” -M. Jagadesh Kumar, UGC Chairperson

On January 5, 2023, the University Grants Commission announced that India is officially open to inviting foreign universities to the country. Many “European Countries” have shown interest in expanding their campuses to India, as per the UGC report.

“We are always open to opportunities for partnership working. We would also point Indian students toward the excellent study opportunities available at the University of Birmingham in both UK and Dubai.” This statement was released by The University of Birmingham in response to the UGC draft.

King’s College, London has already signed an MoU with the Government of Telangana for collaborative research, faculty & student mobility, curriculum development, and upskilling.

If you look at it, it is a win-win situation for all the stakeholders. These partnerships and the fervent interest of foreign universities in Indian institutions are evidence of how well-suited the Indian economy is for investment. And for India, these collaborations help the country to fulfil its various dreams.

Global Citizenship Approach

Global Citizenship Approach aims to empower learners of all ages to take an active role at the national and international levels. With the motive to build more peaceful, tolerant, inclusive, and secure societies, the Global Citizenship Approach focuses on desensitising the perspective of jingoism to global citizenship. This concept is based on the three pillars of learning, which are – behavioural, cognitive, and socio-emotional.

This approach helps students to grow holistically and it focuses on all the aspects of what a society is made of, by far, the world, which includes factors like economic, political, social, cultural, technological, and ecological. Universities can leverage this concept to inculcate essential values such as diversity, interdependence, empathy, and vast perspective among students. Additionally, it focuses on honing soft skills such as Critical Thinking, Communication, Technology Skills, Cross-Cultural Awareness, and Adaptability.

Education Hubs

Another new advancement with respect to internationalisation is the emergence of education hubs. In particular, South-Eastern Asia and the Gulf region have experienced unprecedented growth in the number of education hubs. Due to their geographic proximity, comparable socio-political-economic environments, and shared colonial history, they are of great relevance to India in terms of the frequency and growth of education centres.

“The world is one family” or “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” is what India believes in. It has always been a nation that values the progress and development of all people. Given its exquisite blend of cultural diversity and technological advancement, India is currently a good choice for those interested in pursuing higher education. Additionally, India is a desirable location for higher education due to its ability to provide higher education in English at an affordable cost. In India, education is not just restricted to the classroom; it also includes learning about our historical traditions and cultural heritage.

Furthermore, some fields in the country are flourishing rigorously, hence, they are of great attraction such as the IT Industry. Major companies such as Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services, Accenture, and others have opened offices in India, and entrepreneurship and research have also taken a different turn. Thus, we can say that India is evolving as one of the biggest economies in the world.

Why is Internationalisation Important?

Now that we know what internationalisation means, let’s understand why it is more important today than ever. Technology has revolutionised many aspects of our lives, to the extent that it is taking over jobs. The evolution of AI and robots has threatened humans. Hence, it is necessary that human resources are much wiser than the upcoming technology. And internationalisation is one way to do that. It brings people, and nations together for a noble cause.

Hence, the incorporation of internationalisation can not be overstated. The world needs an education system that is in sync and some of the bigger changes and positively impacted areas should be: improved academic quality, internationally-oriented students, faculty, and mentors; national, and international citizenship for students; the potential for increased international student enrolment; and revenue generation.

With the introduction of NEP 2020, India has just taken the first step. So far, it has introduced and implemented various facilities such as  Credit Recognition under Twinning Arrangement, ICT-based Internationalisation, Academic and Research Collaboration, and Alumni Connect. Although, India is yet to bring internationalisation to all the universities, institutes, and colleges and that’s where the role of Higher Education Institutions comes in. Hence, it is safe to say that India is flourishing significantly but there are many improvements that are still needed.

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