New Delhi: The internationalization of higher education is of the utmost importance in today’s globalized world, as it fosters the production of knowledge and its dissemination throughout the world, which improves international academic credibility. It is a process by which knowledge produced in a country is shared with the world in many forms.
This could be in terms of cross-border student flows, faculty exchanges, international research collaboration, partnerships, semester exchanges, joint / double degrees and training programs.
Internationalization promotes cultural exchanges and contributes to the internationalization of programs, practices and course outcomes. It has a positive impact on all stakeholders in the education system, i.e. students, faculty, staff and university leaders, and helps to improve the learning environment. It helps to produce informed and culturally sensitive citizens of the world.
In India, the internationalization of higher education has been given due prominence for the first time in the new National Education Policy 2020 which seeks to promote internationalization by bringing about structural policy reforms.
The policy advocates horizontal and vertical linkages of Indian universities with Foreign Educational Institutions (IEFs) and promotes integration in terms of curriculum design, exchange of faculty, students and research so that India can become a popular destination for international students and a knowledge economy. .
At the same time, the policy focuses on promoting the value-based Indian education system through the export of education by enabling the opening of Indian university campuses abroad to promote our cultural heritage, our ancient knowledge system, the Indian system of medicine like Ayurveda, Naturopathy, Yoga etc.
The main objective of the policy is to increase the number of incoming students from other countries to India and to take steps to retrain outgoing students in India by providing affordable quality education at home, and thus, by saving a large amount of foreign currency for our country.
Establishing foreign university campuses in India will also attract foreign students from neighboring countries to India, as India would be a closer destination and the cost of living in India is comparatively lower than in other developed countries.
In addition, establishing campuses of foreign universities in India will result in easy collaboration, faculty and student exchanges, research partnerships between Indian and foreign universities which can help to improve the quality of the higher education in our universities.
In addition, credits obtained by students from reputable foreign universities can now be transferred to Indian universities. To promote the internationalization of higher education in India, international offices will be set up in Indian universities to ensure a seamless international experience for foreign students in our universities.
The sole aim is to promote India as a global study destination offering top quality education at affordable costs. Some of the main reforms recommended in the NEP for the internationalization of higher education are presented below:
1. Invite selected universities, ie those among the top 100 foreign universities, to operate in India. The most important recommendation is to enact / create a legislative provision to facilitate the entry of these universities with the regulatory framework of their governance and content standards comparable to other autonomous institutions in India.
2. Encourage the best performing Indian universities to establish campuses in other countries.
3. Allow the transfer of credits according to the requirements of each HEI for the award of a diploma / joint diplomas / double diplomas. In addition, research collaboration and student exchanges between Indian and global institutions will be encouraged through special efforts.
4. Establishment of an international student office in each HEI to welcome foreign students, to coordinate all questions relating to international students, to facilitate research / teaching collaborations and teacher / student exchanges with foreign institutions of high quality and sign MoUs with foreign countries for advantage.
Although the government’s policy initiatives are well founded, its implementation in “letter and spirit” is only possible with concerted efforts of all stakeholders, including the government, apex bodies such as the ‘UGC, ICCR, AICTE, AIU, CII, FICCI and more educational institutions.
The Association of Indian Universities, which has been contributing to the internationalization of higher education and the assessment / equivalence of foreign degrees since 1925, can serve as a catalyst to commercialize Indian higher education abroad and expand the study program in India by leveraging its global and national network. from more than 854 member universities (of which 17 supervise the universities as associate members).
The author of the article is Dr Pankaj Mittal, Secretary General of the Association of Indian Universities, who was previously Vice Chancellor, BPS Women University, Government of Haryana and Former Additional Secretary, UGC, Ministry of HRD, government of India.
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Posted on: Saturday January 08, 2022 3:32 PM IST