Edition 107 - March 2010

Higher education reform in India

The Indian government has recently approved the Foreign Educational Institution Bill which now is on the Parliament’s "desk" for ratification. This legislative initiative has been a controversial issue for many years now. If ratified, the bill would allow foreign education providers to establish campuses offering their degrees in India. Since 2000 direct foreign investment in the education sector has been approved. Yet, granting university degrees by foreign providers has not been permitted so far.

The new law would regulate the entry and operation of foreign institutions setting up university and college branches. Proponents expect the presence of world class institutions in India in order to educate students locally. India’s unhidden agenda is to retain the English-speaking talents inside the continent, instead of having talented students depart for the United States, Europe, Australia or New-Zealand. Being able to meet the demand of quality education is now in the focus. This bill is one of the several initiatives of the 100 Days Action Plan launched by Mr. Kabil Sipal, Minister of Human Resource Development in India. Other initiatives like the 12 newly established central universities and two Indian Institutes of Technology as well as a potential “brain gain policy” aiming to attract talents from all around the world are also on the table.

Minister Sipal has already succeeded in  getting his government’s approval for the Bill. Providing an opportunity for European universities and colleges to bring their branch to India seems to be a profitable enterprise. However, next to the clear opportunities the potential risks and threats should also be assessed.
 
Department of higher education, Ministry of Human Resource Development India

100 Days Action Plan

 

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