Trends, insights and strategies on internationalization of higher education by Dr. Rahul Choudaha

January 14, 2010

Trends for Indian Education Sector in 2010

Indian education sector has gained significant attention from policymakers, investors, and media in the year 2009. It was filled with enthusiasm at one level and anxieties at another level. The year 2010 will continue to be an important year with increasing demand for education and corresponding new ways of meeting those demands. Given below are the top five trends I expect for 2010.

What are your expectations for Indian education sector in 2010? Please share your comments at the bottom.

#1: Internationalization would become more glamorous:
Internationalization as a strategy for building reputation will gain more prominence. This may range from establishing international collaborations for student/faculty exchange programs to joint research projects and offshore campuses. Increasingly, international collaborations will go beyond American universities as more European universities are expected to show interest in India. Innovation universities planned by the Indian government may also attract some big names. Both the Indian and foreign universities are eagerly awaiting policy clarifications on the foreign university bill, which would help in formal campus-based presence for foreign universities (not-for-profit will not be welcomed).

#2: Policy landscape will become tougher, wider spectrum of institutional quality:
Quality of Indian higher education system has lagged behind the growth in quantity. Given the unfortunate state of regulatory mechanism in India, there are several changes expected in the direction of transparency and stricter norms. Several institutions need to shape up to fulfill the norms. For example, UGC's mandate that all institutions should have NAAC accreditation and deemed universities process is being reviewed. Likewise, AICTE is planning for more information sharing and accountability from institutions.

Given the resource constraints, majority of the institutions will continue to offer mediocre quality of education. On the other hand, a handful of institutions like ISB, Manipal and SP Jain, will continue to strengthen/achieve global benchmarks. New age universities like the NIIT University, Vedanta University, Azim Premji University and Reliance University will also create new standards of quality.

#3: Growth of multicampus model, for-profit will not be welcomed:
Competition and opportunity would compel institutions with resources to gain scale, move beyond their traditional markets and innovate the educational offerings. Multicampus models led by institutions like Amity, IBS and IIPM will continue to thrive. Even reputed institutions will be expanding. For example, Symbiosis expanding and Narsee Moonjee entering Bangalore. 

Despite significant interest from the "for-profit" sector both in India and abroad, 2010 is unlikely to bring any change in the policy that would openly support for-profit sector. Even the foreign universities bill is not expected to provide any easier opportunities for "for-profit" universities. Having said that entrepreneurs/investors with "for-profit" models will have significant opportunities in the informal education sector (skill development, elearing) or support services (technology, test prep).

#4: Technology adoption will increase:
With the growth in scale of the institutions and multicampus models, there will be increasing need for streamlining and controlling processes. Technology solutions in the form of campus management software packages will gain ground. Even course management tools will become prominent among faculty for efficiently organizing their classes.

Companies like Educomp and Everonn at one level would continue to grow with the adoption of technology-enabled learning and support systems for educational institutions. One the other hand, elearning organizations, like Tata Interactive serving corporate training and development segment would also continue to grow. At the student level, test prep websites like and, which are leveraging social networking and technology platforms for improved assessment, information sharing and learning will also become popular.

#5: Demand of professional talent in education sector will increase:
Indian education sector is growing at a fast pace but the professionals including faculty and administrators are lagging behind both in quantity or quality. This will pose even more threatening scarcity about the availability of faculty. The expansion plans announced by the Indian government and entry of many more private players would require faculty members and given the shortage of faculty either the institutions would further start compromising on the quality of teaching or projects would delay/abort.

On the administrative front,  the issue is not only about the availability of education managers, but more so of the lack of recognition of the "profession of education management" in itself. More institutions, who are aiming for high quality offerings, would adopt and recognize that building world-class institutions requires world-class talent. Efforts of FICCI, EDGE and magazines like EDU would sensitize and advance the professionalization of higher education management.

Overall, I am optimistic about 2010 and expect many new players and innovative models in the sector that would attempt to disrupt the inefficiencies and quality concerns. Do you agree/disagree? Is there any other trend to look out for 2010 in Indian education sector? Share your comments below.

-Rahul Choudaha, PhD


  1. Absolutely Rahul, the year 2010 will internationalise India's education sector.
    With this there will be more intense competition between the faculty rather than the students.
    more technological advanced resources will be made available.
    In short, it will be a great year for students who will have a lot more options.
    Sandeep Gandotra

  2. Very well written article. In my personal opinion the overall outlook is not good as long as we have a system in place that is not rewarding people based on merit. Internationalization, technology adoption and multi-campus models are fine but the output depends on the user. Majority of students are there not because of their grades but because of their caste, religion or financial might.

  3. Year 2010 will be the year of Consolidation for the many Management Institutes offering PGP programmes,that have mushroomed in last 3 years.
    Students have now realised the false promises made by these institutions.These Institutes offer huge commissions to the admission agents to fill their seats.

  4. There is going to be a lot of churning aroud. The world has to realise that the mobility of students largely depends on the employability in host nations. The inadequate visa homeworks on part of OZ and UK is also going to be in perspective. For USA, AIRC is going to show a new way of recruitment in a hope to turn around the market. Indian numbers (fresh) dropped by 25% and this is actually alarming.

  5. Since we are talking abt the education sector as a whole, I believe that there wont be any major change in the trends this year. Even in higher education, all the promises that are expected to be fulfilled have been there for quite sometime. However, we need to be optimist about the new HRD Mins and hopefully regulatory issues and the bill related to foreign univs are looked into seriously and action is taken.

    I will like to believe that more Universities from abroad will get into the way Disney gets quality students through their J1-Visa program for employability/training in this year. This has been an excellent model for Disney and there are Univs who have been studying this model very closely.

  6. I would like to add on that besides a high focus on academic and higher education, India will soon weather a storm by way of corporate education. As existing skills across businesses, domain, management and leadership are hitting a point of scarcity.I feel time is ripe to formalise corporate learning and performance development as a qualification based domain.

  7. Dear All,
    All the points discussed by Dr. Rahul are very well written and focused. After an era of recession in almost all major sectors, we all are very optimistic about 2010.
    Well education sector has been seeing growth since independance. Only question is that how educationists are going to prepare students as leader of tomorrow in perspective of a different mindset of Corporates after recession.

    Now they are more cautious about cost involved in every step of business execution and growth.

    On at other hand, students are paying more fee for their quality education and expecting greater pay packages, as they have invested huge.

    Therefore I would like to put this point in consideration to all educationists & policymakers to satisfy this condition.

  8. Hi,
    The trend really looks promising! however one of the major concern will be to find the people who will take it forward. Leaders who have a vision & professionals who add the rigour to deliver the quality will be a a major challenge.

  9. Sharing my analysis of the education system through the following link,

  10. Really nice article. Education sector in India will take a significant boost in 2010. With in next few years internet will be the best medium for finest education.

  11. Yeah, its sure that this year the opportunities of the education sector will be encashed by the big players if the education bill gets clearity. It will be a highly competitive environment for the Indian universities also to compete with their foreign competitors. It will really increase the overall efficiency and student quality.

  12. Quality education systems and proper dissemination of the educational values to students helps in the framing of intellectual minds for the growth of the country. It is immensely important for a country to have good faculty and well- maintained educational structure so that the students of the country are instilled with knowledge required to contribute in the country's development.

  13. yeah.i agree with this,The education sector has been seeing growth since independance.It will really increase the overall efficiency and student quality.
    It's true, more Universities from
    ABROAD will get into the way of studies. This is one of the excellent,it will be a great year for students who will have a lot more options.

  14. Very nice article.
    Now students are paying more fee for their quality education and expecting greater pay packages, as they have invested huge.Quality
    Education systems and proper dissemination of the educational values to students helps in the framing of intellectual minds for the growth of the country.It will really increase the overall efficiency and student quality.

  15. Hi Rahul,
    Would you have similar insight for the Indian Training Industry and the trend for the year 2010.

  16. Thanks Aditya. I will be covering separate track for training services in Jan 2011.

  17. rahul ,i see it as the first phase of education .

    it has many more new paradigms yet to come

  18. The current trend is that of competitive exams going online. It has become important that students are exposed to online testing at an early stage. That is where LMS like come in. Quality education provided online would save time and money for parents.

  19. Yours is a good article. I think emerging markets specially India and indian states offer multifold opportunity in the field of education. Here is such a blog providing lot of data on that.

  20. Pretty good post. I hope you create more in the future..

  21. The issue of shortage of qualified faculties remain the same , but on the administrative front , I dont think that there will be much problems .Aggressive Education Managers understanding the requirements wont be difficult

  22. yes right,
    Very informative and useful article indeed. I really like the way writer has presented his views. I hope to see more great articles in future as well.



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