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Indian Higher Education Trends 2011

While 2010 was a year of "announcements", 2011 is expected to be a year of "implementation". Indian higher education will gain more attention from stakeholders and the future is paved with enthusiasm at one level and anxieties at another level. Given below are the top seven trends to watch for 2011. Detailed version of this article was published in EDU magazine.




#1: Internationalization will become a dominant theme
Internationalization as a strategy for building reputation will gain prominence. Foreign universities bill is expected to clear in 2011, however, it will have a limited impact in the immediate term. Most universities would still attempt to craft collaborations by working around the stipulations of the bill and engage in low-risk, non-degree partnerships.

#2: Global accreditation will become the gold standard
Pursuit of global accreditations will gain momentum among private universities seeking world-class partnerships and status. Some of the early adopt…

Indian Engineering & MBA Institutions: Growth Trends and Data

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Number of engineering and management institutions in India have grown at an clipping rate of 19% and 16.5% CAGR in the period from 2005-06 to 2009-10 (AICTE). Likewise, the annual intake of students for engineering and management programs increased by 21% and 22% CAGR respectively in the same period.

However, Indian economy grew at a slower pace in this period. Indian GDP grew at a CAGR of 12% from 837 billion in 2005 to 1.31 trillion in 2009. This indicates that supply of students has outstripped the demand of the economy and hence there will be many more unemployed engineering and MBA graduates in the Indian labor market.

Further, given the lack of an effective policy framework and supporting professional standards, many institutions which started in last few years are of poor quality. Thus, the number of students in professional programs like engineering and management have not only been increasing at an unmanageable rate but also graduating with lack of skills. This is evident f…

2015: Arrival of the Gen-Q and Quality in Indian Higher Education

Published article on the arrival of Gen-Q in EDU magazine. To read the full article click here. Given below is my definition of Gen-Q:
Gen-Q are children born in late 90’s to the parents working in new-age industries like IT and telecommunications. Gen-Q will start going to college from 2015 onwards and will expect quality education.


According to NASSCOM, number of knowledge workers in Indian IT industry has grown eight-fold in ten years from less than 200,000 in 1998 to 1.6 million in 2007. Gen-Q are children of these new-age professionals and will start going to college from 2015 onwards and will expect high standards of quality. This demand for quality is already evident from the growth of international schools in India. For example, number of students in IB programs has grown at a CAGR of 25% in the five-year period from 2005-09.

Apart from expectations for quality, Gen-Q will influence Indian higher education in several other ways including demand for international experiences, aut…

3 international partnership trends with Indian higher education institutions

Foreign collaborations with Indian higher education institutions gained a new wave of enthusiasm and excitement with the recent visit of President Obama. This included some major announcements including India-US education summit for next year. It was further propelled by high power delegations of foreign university leaders including the one led by Institute of International Education (IIE) and U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) and an international conference on higher education organized by FICCI.

Recently some major announcements related to academic collaborations also contributed to positive sentiments:
Carnegie Mellon with Shiv Nadar Foundation to offer undergraduate programs in mechanical engineering and electrical and computer engineering. Degree will be awarded by CMU.  Indiana University with O.P. Jindal Global University collaborated on several fronts including research, exchanges, executive education, recruitment and conferences for business, law, and public and environmen…

Guru Mantra: Angel Cabrera, President, Thunderbird

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Dr. Angel Cabrera
President
Thunderbird School of Global Management

Thunderbird President Dr. Angel Cabrera is a world-renowned global leader and management educator whose work and expertise has been recognized and tapped by top international organizations, including the World Economic Forum, the United Nations, and the Clinton Global Initiative.  Dr. Cabrera has been an outspoken advocate of corporate social responsibility and managerial professionalism, and in 2005 he inspired a student-led initiative that resulted in Thunderbird becoming the first business school in the world to formally adopt a Professional Oath of Honor, a commitment to social responsibility and professional ethics taken by graduating students. Also in 2005, the school established Thunderbird for Good, a philanthropic effort to provide business education to entrepreneurs in developing countries. Since then, hundreds of women entrepreneurs have been trained in Afghanistan, Jordan and Peru.

Rahul- Thunderbird had been…

Indian students enrollments in the US decrease by 3,000, while Chinese increase by 22,000

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After eight consecutive years, India loses its spot as the leading country of origin for international students in the US to China, and that too by a big margin of 22,731 students.

Growth directions of Chinese and Indian students enrollment in the US are showing a sharp contrast. There were 3,137 less Indian students enrolled in graduate and undergraduate programs in contrast to 22,511 more Chinese students in 2009/10 as compared to 2008/09 (IIE Open Doors 2010). These numbers about contrasting growth directions exclude students on OPT (Optional Practical Training) and "Other" non-degree categories and hence indicate real change in student enrollment in the degree-programs at undergraduate and graduate programs for 2009/10 academic year. (Note: CGS reports fall'2010 admissions trends for graduate programs only, while IIE Open Doors reports previous year's enrollment at all levels).

Over the last five years from 2004/05 to 2009/10, the pace of growth of Chinese stude…

Guru Mantra: William Brustein, Ohio State University

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Dr. William I. Brustein Vice Provost for Global Strategies and International Affairs
The Ohio State University
Dr. William I. Brustein is Vice Provost for Global Strategies and International Affairs and Professor of Sociology, Political Science, and History at the Ohio State University. He has served previously as the senior international officer at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Brustein has published widely in the areas of political extremism and ethnic/religious/racial prejudice. His most recent books are The Logic of Evil: the Social Origins of the Nazi Party, 1925 to 1933 (Yale University Press, 1996) and Roots of Hate: Anti-Semitism in Europe Before the Holocaust (Cambridge University Press, 2003). He is past-president of the Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA) and current Chair of NAFSA’s International Education Leadership Knowledge Community. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Association f…

Indian students' enrollment decline in the US universities

Number of offers and first-time enrollment of Indian students at the US graduate programs continued to decrease for the third year in a row by 4% and 3% respectively, according a report by CGS. This is in contrast to the continued interest of Indian students to apply for US graduate programs, as indicated by the number of applications. (See related analysis on Indian students here and here).

The number of applications from India for 100 largest institutions has increased by 3% while number of offers from the these universities has decreased by 3% (CGS). This indicates that while more Indian students are interested in studying in the US universities, there is lesser interest by the universities to admit them.

The most important factor for the decrease in offers by the US universities is that Indian students tend to apply to a very narrow set of institutions which are already having a significant concentration of Indian students. For example, 57% of all Indian students are enrolled at …

Enrollment Patterns of Indian and Chinese International Students

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While the number of students going abroad from China and India are increasing, their enrollment patterns and preferences vary considerably by pace of growth, destination, field of study and level of study. Here are four key comparisions:

Growth of Chinese is outpacing Indians Interest for foreign education is growing at a much faster rate among Chinese as compared to Indians. For example, the number of applications for fall 2010 admissions to US has increased by 20% from China as compared to 1% from India (CGS). Likewise, undergraduate enrollments in 2008-09 for Chinese students grew by nearly 10,000 students as compared to about 2,000 Indian students (IIE Open Doors).

Chinese preferring US; Indians the UK While US is the leading destination for Chinese and Indians, there seems to be an increasing interest from Chinese for the US and from Indians for the UK. Enrollment of Chinese students in the UK increased by 1,680 as compared to 8,160 Indians in the period 2007-08 to 2008-09 (Univer…

Comprehensive internationalization strategy for higher education institutions: Published article in EDU

Published article on the need of comprehensive internationlization strategy for higher education institutions in the EDU magazine. Given below is the summary. Click here to read the full article.


Internationalization is a competitive compulsion for higher education institutions that are in the race for quality and excellence. There are several Indian institutions which have approached internationalization in a piecemeal fashion, however, there are no exemplars which have pursued a comprehensive strategy.

This is critical as internationalization is an expensive process with controllable and uncontrollable risks. Further, gaining the confidence of reputed foreign universities for collaborations or recruiting foreign students is a time and resource intensive process.

Comprehensive internationalization is an opportunity to create long-term differentiation and value-addition for the university or college. Here are five steps to approach it:

- Develop an internationalization plan
- Align p…

TIME: Steep learning curve for American universities in India

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I was quoted in TIME magazine article on interest and engagement of foreign universities in India. The article discussed opportunities, challenges and models of engagement. It rightly summed up "The American schools, true to their nation's entrepreneurial heritage, see the opportunity as too ripe to pass up." Click here to read full article.

Advertising (mal)practices: Lack of professional standards

Education sector was the highest spender on print advertising in India and constituted 15% of all print advertising in the first half of 2010 (AdEx Analysis). Within this the top spender is Planman Consultant (IIPM). Planman is now also spending money on TV advertising and is the biggest spender under education sector (watch advertisement) The big question is--Is IIPM through Planman misleading students and families and overclaiming its quality? There are many who believe so. Consider this exhaustive investigation by Careers360--IIPM-Best only in claims? Or this recent analysis of advertising influence of IIPM on media. However, IIPM believes it is not misleading students. Recently, UGC issued a notification that IIPM “does not have the right of conferring or granting degrees as specified by the University Grants Commission.” Why Indian institutions are in this state of overpromising and overclaiming? What are the implications on students?

Competition is intensifying in higher educati…

Why does India lack world-class universities?

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My article--World class aims demand quality--was published in the October 14th issue of the Times Higher Education.
Why does India lack world-class universities? It is easy to point to the lack of resources - money and time - needed to build such institutions. More importantly, however, Indian higher education fails to fully recognise the value of the most essential resource in such an endeavour, namely talent. An awareness of the importance of attracting the best talent - students, faculty and administrators - in delivering quality is sorely missing.
The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2010-11 featured six universities from mainland China, two from Turkey and none from India. The easiest defence for India is to attack the rankings' methodology, but this league table is yet another reminder of the ugly truth of Indian higher education: quality is simply not a priority at institutional or policy level. There is no dearth of self-proclaimed world-class institution…

Brain Gain Strategy for India: Gyan Ratna To Recognize and Attract Top Talent

Kapil Sibal's First 100-days action plan mentioned "Formulation of a 'Brain-Gain' policy to attract talent from across the world to the existing and new institutions." Sam Pitroda had also proposed setting up of a fund of $500 million to attract select faculty and researchers to India.

The fund proposal is facing criticism on at least two major fronts. First, the proposed amount of $500 million seems to be too high in the context of resource constraints and other priorities. The total budget of all 15 IITs is less than the $500 million. Another major concern is about the demotivating effect of high differential compensation on the academicians and researchers who opted to stay in India.

I applaud the ministry and Sam Pitroda to think along the lines of attracting the best talent to improve quality of higher education. This had been one of the most important areas which has not got enough attention. However, I argue that approach of attracting top talent through …

International student enrollment for fall 2010: Increasing interest for US & UK universities

Public universities in the US are reporting record enrollment of international students (listen to my interview on NPR). Here are some examples:

University of Cincinnati: up 8%
Kent State University, Ohio: up 26%
Indiana State University: up 13%
University of Colorado, Boulder: up 11%
Iowa State University: up 10%
The University of Michigan-Flint: up 40%
Montana Tech: up 11%
University of Central Oklahoma: up 17%
Arkansas State University: up 35%

There are two primary reasons for record enrollments:
1. Decreasing state budget cuts
2. Increasing demand from source countries

At a time when private sector is showing signs of recovery, higher education is still facing budget cuts. According to Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, at least 43 states have implemented cuts to public colleges and universities. For example, Georgia has reduced state funding for public higher education for FY2011 by $151 million, or 7%. Similarly, US News and World Report notes that estimated state tax support from …

Interviewed on NPR on international students trends

I was interviewed by National Public Radio- NPR's Tell Me More show by Michel Martin. NPR reaches 27million listeners every week. The interview focused on international students enrollment trends in the US universities.

Listen to the interview.

Dr. Rahul Choudaha

India: Time to focus on quality

September had been quite an eventful month for India. It made news for embarrassing, funny and disappointing reasons.

Funny: One thing which India has done well both in reality and fantasy is--outsourcing. Indian outsourcing industry have grown at a fast pace and also maintained quality. NBC's new series Outsourced also managed to do well. However, good jokes and "outsourcing" success could not  help overcome embarrassment and disappointment in other spheres.

Embarrassing:Inefficiencies in preparations for the Commonwealth Games proved that there is a long way to go before India could gather infrastructure both soft and hard to manage global events. It manifested that corruption is deep seated and compromise on quality is rampant.

Disappointing:Not a single Indian institution figured in the latest Times Higher Education ranking. In contrast, Mainland China had 6 and Turkey had 2 universities listed in top-200. Of course, easy way to defend is to attack the methodology of t…

Yale-NUS Collaboration

Recently, Yale and National University of Singapore signed a MoU to collaborate for establishing a new liberal arts college. It's an important landmark in the area of international institutional collaborations in general and US-Asia partnerships in specific. It is important for at least three reasons which have implications for future collaborations:

1. Deriving value: Institutions need to build partnerships which create mutual value. To derive the value they have to invest in partnership but the key is that investment does not always have to monetary from both parties. Here it is important to evaluate what each party is investing and what each is deriving. In this MoU, Yale is making absolutely no direct financial investment and hence NUS and Singapore government are making financial investments. On the other hand, Yale is investing intellectual capital and brand equity which is much higher than NUS but at the same time it is gaining access to Asian market in a way it could not do…

Credential Inflation: Raise the Quality Bar

"Credential inflation refers to the devaluation of educational or academic credentials over time and a corresponding decrease in the expected advantage given a degree holder in the job market." Wikipedia

According to Randall Collins "The process of credential inflation is largely self-driven; it feeds on itself. A given level of education at one time gave access to elite jobs. As educational attainment has expanded, the social distinctiveness of that degree and its value on the occupational marketplace have declined; this in turn has expanded demand for still higher levels of education."

Both China and India have been on the expansion spree and are heading towards a grim situation of underemployment and unemployment among educated youth. Unless, quality and university-industry relationships start taking an important place in policy and practice.

Recent BusinessWeek story highlighted that 1 in 4 of this year's 6.3 million Chinese college graduates are unemployed

Failure of foreign campuses: Recognize the importance of student-decision making

Published an article entitled "Foreign Campuses: Tried and Tested" in EDU on failure of foreign campuses and need of understanding student-decision making.



Indian students aspire for top US universities: Applications up; offers down

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In my earlier postings, I argued that Indians will continue to go abroad for higher education and US will maintain its prominence. The recent report by the Council of Graduate Studies confirms the trend. According to this report, applications from India for fall 2010 are up by 1%. Many expected that the impact of recession and increasing choices both at home and abroad would decrease the outward mobility of Indian students. However, I believe that outward mobility will remain high for at least three reasons:
1. Indian higher education system has grown at a rate much faster than the capacity of the economy to absorb.
2. Quality of higher education at majority of the institutions is mediocre resulting in skills gap and unemployability.
3. Further education options at the graduate level in India are not very aspirational, except MBA.


More Indians are aiming for top-100 institutions:
Within the US, Indian students continue to aspire for top-100 institutions. This is an indicator of the &q…

Guru Mantra: Surendra Kaushik, Helena Kaushik Women’s College

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Dr. Surendra K. Kaushik
Founder and Chairman,
Mrs. Helena Kaushik Women's College

Professor, Pace University in New York
Blog: Kaushik College for Women
Blog: Surendra Kaushik's Blog

Dr. Surendra K. Kaushik founded the Mrs. Helena Kaushik Women’s College (www.helenakaushik.org)in India in 1999 which is affiliated with the University of Rajasthan. The college has grown on a 30-acre new campus with 760 graduates with a B.A. B. Sc, B. Sc in Biotechnology, B.Ed., M.A., and M.Sc. in Biotechnology from 2002 to 2010. He is producer of A College for Women documentary about the Mrs. Helena Kaushik Women’s P.G. College directed by Sanjay Singh which had its world premiere at the first Pravasi Film Festival and a special screening at the Press Club of India. Dr. Kaushik has been awarded the Aruna Asaf Ali Sadhbhavana Award of the Minorities League of India, Hind Rattan Award of the NRI Society of India, Shiromani Rashtriya Vikas Award of the Delhi Telugu Academy, The New York State Assembl…

Five Policy Directions for Engaging Foreign Institutions in India

Published an article on policy directions for engaging foreign education providers in India in University World News. I have co-authored with Professor Alan Ruby of the University of Pennsylvania. See other articles by Prof. Ruby.

We recommend five policy domains to make sure all of the nation's interests are served by this important opening up of an over-regulated, under-resourced sector of the economy to foreign education providers. It will help create an ecosystem of institutions of all kinds and all forms of ownership: public and private, Indian and international, research and vocational, religious and secular, charitable and for-profit.

1. Foreign institutions must be seriously committed to India: Protect the local consumer (student) by ensuring that foreign institutions are seriously committed to India.

2. Students must have better information about options: The government should have students as the focus of the policy directions and there is a need to support students to ma…