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Guest Entry: Tim Gore on Foreign Universities Bill

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This is the guest entry by Tim Gore, Director of the Centre for Indian Business at The University of Greenwich. He shares his perspectives on the Foreign Universities Bill 2010. Also see his earlier interview on this blog.


The progress of this Bill has been regarded with great interest over the last few years as it could significantly affect the dynamic between India and her foreign educational partners. The recent impetus and direction given to the development of the Bill by the current HRD Minister Shri Kapil Sibal is laudable. Although the bill was opposed by one member of Parliament when it was tabled for Parliament there is evidence of substantial shifts in perceptions since the last time it was introduced. Part of this is an increasing sense of purpose in Indian Higher Education with the stated ambition of increasing the gross enrolment ration to 30% by 2020 as well as increasing the quantity and quality of higher education institutions in parallel. There is a recognition that…

Is India ready for "for-profit" higher education?

Current policy requirements in general, including foreign universities bill, expect that education should continue to be a not-for-profit activity. Kapil Sibal had also clarified along these lines. On the other hand, corporate houses, education consulting firms and industry associations like FICCI and CII have been advocating for opening up education sector for for-profit channel.

The big question remains--is India ready for for-profit higher education? I believe yes it is, but with a cautiously optimistic note. The reasons are:

- India needs huge investments to achieve its goal of achieving GER of 30% by 2020. This could not be achieved by philanthropy or government investment alone. This means, private capital is required to expand the higher education sector.

- The menace of pseudo not-for-profit: The stipulations of not-for-profit character in higher education have resulted in many private institutions to fudge their accounting books to siphon off profits. Few others have create…

International Mobility Trends of Indian Students - 2

Based on the last week's posting of mobility trends of Indian students, I received several comments and questions. Thank you readers. Here is my response to a couple of overarching themes of the questions:

Q. Does that mean that Indian students who are planning to go abroad will not be academically prepared and will be graduates of poor institutions only?
Rahul- No. There are three important aspects to understand. First, demand for international education will also come from graduates of top-tier institutions, however, since the number of graduates from these institutions is relatively small as compared to graduates from poor quality, the direction of overall demand for international education will be driven by students from poor quality institutions. Second, graduates from better quality institutions find more options for employment after college as compared to graduates from poor quality institutions, who try to seek out further graduate education abroad. Third, I am referring to…

Why Indian Students Will Continue to Study Abroad?

There has been recent report suggesting that "Foreign university campuses to help India save $7.5 billion outflow." Even if the bill passes and becomes attractive to foreign universities, I believe that number of Indian students going abroad will not decrease at least for next five years. Here I am not factoring in decrease which is caused by unfortunate external factors like attacks on Indian students in Australia or impact of 9/11. So, two primary factors supporting outward mobility are:

1. Expansion at the expense of quality: Number of students graduating from poor and average quality institutions is growing at a much faster rate than the capacity of the industry to provide for jobs. Even if the jobs are available the number of students graduating from these institutions is quite high which restricts their employability. For many educated unemployed youth, higher education serves as a channel to get a second chance for employment and social prestige. Thus, this segment wil…

NAFSA conference 2010: Quoted in InsideHigherEd

This week more than 7,000 international education professionals attended one of the largest professional conferences in higher education--NAFSA: Association of International Educators in Kansas City. Tracks for sessions included international education leadership; teaching, learning and scholarship in international education; and recruitment and admissions.

I presented four separate sessions at NAFSA conference:

- "Shifting Trends in Global Student Mobility: Who’s Going Where" with Jen Nielsen, Australian Education International (AEI); Robert Guttierez, Institute of International Education and Thomas M. Buntru, Universidad de Monterrey.
I was also quoted in the InsideHigherEd article from this session.

- "Measuring Return on Investment in International Student Recruitment" with Cheryl Darrup-Boychuck, USjournal.com: U.S. Journal of Academics and Randall W. Martin, British Columbia Council for International Education.

- "International Recruitment: Bridging Res…