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 make informed decisions about their higher education plans.

3. Not just MBA programmes in Mumbai or Delhi: The government should encourage diversity of location, programmes and institutional types.

4. Drop the ban on for-profit institutions: Quality is more likely to come from student choice, public accountability and transparency of outcomes than charitable status alone.

5. Professionalise higher education to foster quality: Create a cadre of faculty and administrators who systematically study and practise the profession of education to foster quality, productivity and innovation in the system.

Dr. Rahul Choudaha

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