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Showing posts from October, 2010

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 …