Foreign Universities to open Campuses in India

The Education sector in India is poised for a reform, with a new bill allowing foreign universities to set up campus in India likely to be passed in Parliament soon. There are two features of the bill which have the potential to turn the result into a huge success or a huge failure:

  1. The foreign varsities will be free from the ambit of quota. So, one is hoping that admissions to these colleges will be purely merit-based. I only hope that Govt comes clean on this promise and doesn't end up dragging it into the quota net.

  2. These foreign varsities will be free to decide on the fees and admission process. This might be a cause for worry. I figure the universities will need to be competitive as far as fees are concerned in order to attract students; but I cannot convince myself that the colleges will not fix exorbitant fees (or that even if they do, people will not flock to these colleges).

There is a third provision in the proposed bill; which is aimed at preventing the repatriation of the profits made from Indian campuses outside the country.

We'll have to wait and watch if Indian students and the foreign universities can turn this into a mutually beneficial situation; or if it disintegrates into yet another money-making, out-of-reach-for-even-middle-class education” industry”. Time will tell.

5 comments to Foreign Universities to open Campuses in India

  • Anonymous

    I agree with you, there are strong chances that admissions to these colleges may not be purely merit based...

    But I feel even if these universities do turn out to be out of reach for all but the upper middle class - they will still be much needed extra seats we need here.

    These are much needed reforms.

  • Although advocating purely merit based admission is admirable, I must point out that those have really gone out and done something weren't really "meritorious" by our definitions. Many of them were college dropouts, school dropouts and the kind.

    Universities are not solely for academic purposes. They promote an environment where students can think, discuss and grow. That is where foreign universities are actually different and in a sense better than Indian universities.

    Foreign universities in India are welcome and I hope every effort is made to encompass the interests of a wide section of the Indian community.

  • Somehow I dont feel very positive about this!
    There's nothing that goes without reservation and money making techniques in India! This might be another " fresh Idea" to deceive us!

  • Anonymous

    Yes, foreign universities setting up campuses in India is definitely a welcome move!
    I don't really think that we should weigh them from the merit prespective, because as we know, most foreign universities grant admission based on the profile of an applicant, and not just the marks scored. And I think it is a good practice, because a student can be 'meritorious' in so many things other than academics!
    As for the fees, I think if they create enough employment opportunities, and make available education loans, there shouldn't be many problems in commoners affording them.
    Last but not the least, what we can hope from foreign universities is more number of off-mainstream courses, so that we can overcome the danger of being a nation which breeds and entertains only doctors and engineers.

  • @IHM: Well, that depends on what courses they offer. Some disciplines (like engineering) have way too many seats that go abegging. But if they are in some non-conventional fields - then yes, the extra seats will make a difference even if they come at a price.

    @Jsincro: Maybe you have a point there. I was just being hopeful of seeing some accountability from these foreign universities; which would somehow justify the money-making intentions (as opposed to many of our local neta-owned institutions, which are both over-priced and zero quality)

    @Mainak, @Amruta: I see exactly what you are seeing about merit. But just pause and think - what IS merit? This illustrates yet another point - I am hoping that the foreign universities change our collective attitude that
    "Merit = Marks"

    Take a course which trains people to become sports coach for example. Merit in this case means a proven record in sports. For courses that train people to become chefs - the marks-card is the last indicator of merit.

    What I was trying to imply is that a candidate's suitability to the course is given precedence over his/her categorization decided by birth (caste/money/political connections et. al). That is what I meant by merit.

    I totally agree with the comments that they need to cater to the wider section of the community; and also that there is an urgent need to venture into off-mainstream courses. The last thing we need is more engineering and medical colleges!

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