Foreign universities are establishing locations in India strictly for the purpose of generating profit, not for charitable causes.

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The University Grants Commission has declared plans to establish and manage foreign universities in India. The regulations grant foreign educational institutions the freedom to establish campuses in the country, as well as design their own admission policies and tuition fees. The intention of this is to internationalise the educational system in India, though there are mixed opinions about the rising competition and potential flaws in the system.

Ravi Ranjan, a professor of Political Science at Zakir Husain Delhi College, University of Delhi, voices his doubt concerning the government’s attempt to target foreign aspirants in India with this move. He states that this action is unlikely to halt the departure of these students from the country and will instead be in competition with Indian private universities with expensive fees.

He states that these foreign universities have a business focus in coming to India and will not invest heavily in infrastructure or resources. Consequently, their tuition fees may be slightly more than those of the private universities in the country. He suggests that these universities may team up with the wealthier private universities to offer their programs.

Ranjan believes that universities such as the Ivy League will not be establishing any campuses in the country as it is difficult to replicate the same level of prestige. Moreover, these prestigious universities may not receive a desirable return on their investments due to the fact that the country may not be able to provide the same kind of high-paying jobs as what is available in the US.

According to Ranjan, although the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) has seen a positive growth, the government has yet to bolster resources in terms of infrastructure, colleges, and resources in order to bridge the gaps in the education system.

Piyush Kumar, Regional Director (South Asia and Mauritius) for IDP Education, believes that the education opportunities that students gain from overseas travel cannot be replicated. In addition to a degree, students gain a new cultural experience, language abilities, and an invaluable experience—all of which will not prevent students from pursuing educational opportunities abroad. The real challenge, however, is to bring renowned professors and research set-ups to satellite campuses in India in order to establish the reputations of prestigious global universities.

Vice-Chancellor BJ Rao of the University of Hyderabad believes that if foreign universities are allowed to have full autonomy, they will be able to provide students with the necessary skills and abilities. He believes that the current bureaucratic system in India could impede progress if the universities are restricted by the regulations of higher education in the country.

Pankaj Mittal, secretary-general of the Association of Indian Universities (AIU), believes that foreign university campuses can have a positive impact on the Indian higher education system. He believes that for there to be an even playing field, both foreign and Indian universities should be given the same chances to succeed. He states that if foreign universities are given autonomy, the same should be applied to the top Indian higher education institutions. Mittal asserts that the introduction of global universities would create an intensely competitive education realm and establish new benchmarks for Indian universities. While universities such as Harvard and MIT may not establish campuses in India as they do not have any overseas campuses, many other high-quality foreign universities could come to India.

Mayank Tewari


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