‘Foreign varsities pose no threat'
“Unscrupulous operators can use the ‘foreign' tag to exploit poorly informed students who do not have the scores to enter a good national institution or the finances to travel abroad to acquire a good education. In an environment where good higher educational facilities are in short supply, such operators could get away with charging high fees for courses backed by inadequately qualified faculty, inferior infrastructure and substandard equipment,” said M. Anandakrishnan, Chairman, IIT-Kanpur.
He was speaking at the national seminar on ‘Foreign universities — challenges ahead for Indian colleges and B-schools', organised by ITCOT Consultancy and Services recently.
The idea that if the Foreign Universities Bill becomes an Act of Parliament, it will favour foreign players over domestic ones, both public and private, is totally unfounded, he said. “Instead, some institutions which have been profiting by ‘No regulation' will lose their unfair privileges.” Also there may be no scope for any second or third rate foreign institute to come to India due to the stringent registration, scrutiny, accreditation and liability provisions in the Bill.
According to Mr. Anandakrishnan, top-tier institutions will definitely not establish campuses in India, as they are not interested in offering their degrees in India in any mode. Ivy League institutions are more interested in collaboration/partnership with top institutions in India for research in areas of mutual interest.
It will be the genuine tier-two institutions that will be interested in establishing their regional hubs in India to cater to students from the countries in the region.
“This Bill is most unlikely to prevent/reduce outflow of our students and our funds to foreign countries. The motivation for majority of Indian students to study abroad is to seek immigration or jobs abroad. For some the campus experience and academic ambiance in foreign land is the motivation,” he said. “Education quality will be enhanced, not in content, but in the processes of teaching, learning, mentoring, and managing.”
S.R. Nageswaran, Managing Director of ITCOT, said the education scenario is changing with the formulation of the Foreign Universities Bill and the National Commission on Higher Education and Research. Foreign universities are not new in India as there are 225 existing collaborations leading to 635 programmes, he said.
The seminar will help to understand the challenges ahead in the education sector after the Bill is implemented, he added.
Send this article to Friends by