With the globalization of world economies, one doesn’t expect any sector to grow in solitude, especially when that sector is the education sector. So India opening up it’s education sector for the world is a welcome step towards a better future in educational infrastructure.
Indian education sector has always been under criticism for it’s lack of global exposure. Though India produces a huge pool of college graduates, its lack of global exposure makes it rigid and monotonous.
One of the main reason for the government’s step to open up its education sector for foreign universities by the Foreign Educational Institute (Entry and operations) Bill, 2010, is to stop the flow of Indian money out of the country. Every year more than 1 lakh students go abroad for higher education and spend millions on foreign land. Now when these ‘big player’ educational institutes open there campus in India. The number of people going abroad will decrease, and on the other hand, would bring in foreign direct investment.
The country’s already existing universities will try to compete with foreign universities and thus new standards, which are considered much advanced, will automatically incorporate into these Indian universities.
Like every new step brings with it criticism, this one too is no exception. Many believe that foreign universities will come only with one purpose, and that is to tap the potential of the rich students who could afford huge fees charged by such universities. The majority of Indians will not benefit.
Though the government claims of scholarships for the meritorious and needy. The critics say it’s the government exchequer who ultimately pays.
Another criticism is that the faculty for which the universities are known will not be there in it’s offshore campuses. And it’s also speculated that they will hire local professors and will lure them with higher salaries which many government funded universities can’t afford, thus another point of concern.
Another claim of the government that this will improve the efficiency of existing universities is just a mirage, since Telecom and Aviation in the 90s had similar promises by the government but they were taken over by foreign players in their field and are just biting the dust; for example, BSNL and Indian Airlines.
I believe that a system of checks and balance should be adopted by the government and foreign universities should be regulated in the interest of Indians.