Saturday, October 31, 2009

At National Institute of Technology Karnataka tomorrow

I have been invited to moderate a panel discussion on Bringing Foreign Universities to India and their impact on Indian Education at their Annual International Technical Symposium 'Engineer-Golden Jubilee Edition. This happens tomorrow at NITK, Surathkal.

The distinguished panelists are Dr. B M Hegde-Former Vice Chancellor of the Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Prof n Prabhudev-VC Bangalore University, Professor K B Powar Fmr Secretary General of the Association of Indian Universities, Ms Caroline Howe - India Youth Climate Network and Kaustubh Thirumalai - Student Panelist.

I have been doing some reading on this one and asking a few people for their opinions too.

If you have suggestions/questions, please do let me know.


ISR Selvakumar said...

When MNCs entered India, that actually lifted the Indian business standards. Sameway ..

With the arrival of foreign universities in India it will increase healthy competition for Indian institutes.

Studying in a foreign university, in India, is cost effective for Indian students.

With foreign accredition, students will be recognized globally.

But, students will be missing the international (cosmopolitan) exposure. This can be compensated by a foreced students exchange programs insisted on foreign universities.

But, not all the foreign universities offer quality education. So govt, should be cautious before allowing them. Also Govt., should have a monitaring system to maintain the standards promised by the Foreign Universities.

mmmm... That's all I could think and say now.

Wishing a wonderful session with the knowledge heads.

Sowmya Gopal said...

Bringing in foreign universities will definitely increase the application oriented studies that is currently absent in most indian institutions. But while imbibing the positive qualities, I think we should not let go of our forte - memory, quick math, multi-tasking etc. These qualities are completely absent in foreign education, atleast as far as I have seen. They use calculators, formulae books for everything with the effect that although they understand the logic, remembering simple facts and doing simple day to day calculations become a challenge.

Another good feature that we can imbibe but should be careful about is the self-disciplined system of education, where attendance is optional. However lectures and labs in such cases, will be followed with assignments that contribute towards the final score and hence will make attending the classes more or less mandatory for the student.

Questions I have:
1.what happens to the already high fee structure ? will this add to the numbers ?
2.what about internships or a semester abroad ?
3. who decides the syllabus, if this is a collaboration ?

anyway, will be interested to hear the summary of the panel discussion.

Vijai said...

Hi Chin
ofcourse its a welcome suggestion.
By bringing FU to India it is sure that our students get a wider exposure and to the real world technologies being practiced. Our system of book-exam type of systems doesnot hold good, particularly in applied and engineering subjects. we take many things granted while reading the concepts and just remind of the things so that it can be reproduced in the exam.
Also...there are many ideas with our students which can be executed becos of the funding and facilities available with the FU, which will lead to technology exchange.

Rajster said...

Just heard it. Lovely song. You were awesome as you always are. Already starting to hum it. Cheers:)

bash said...

Wishing U a great & Successful time out there,Chinmayi...

Kiara said...

hey once again!!!

actually this is indeed an interesting topic. for the fact that i am a foreigner integrated into the british education system, i do see the various merits and drawbacks. to start off on a good note, bringing in foreign universities to India will definitely improve the work & educational quality and "name" of india => social acceptance from the outsiders would be higher. maybe due to the western influence through the means of education would possibly improve the fiscal state of india per se since education is the fundamental need for a prosperous country. by just looking at the economical state i don't whether this will do much good to the citizens though. i have visited India a few times and from what i have heard from my kins in Bangalore, the culture is kinda screwed up. i am not sure of how true that is but i do opine that by brining in foreign uni into India the culture might get distorted. the western influence does have a strong impact on our traditional values. but of course for the country's development sake, foreign universitites might give a posh look on the outside but i am not sure if the drawbacks such as lost of cultural diversity and "India's Identity" would be at stake. maybe weighing both the pros and cons of glocalisation you should re-consider your opinions. yeah that's my suggestion.


Hari said...

Hi Chinmayi, my two cents on this ...

It is more important to see the revolution/change that will be brought about with the advent of foreign universities. An e.g, if the FU (foreign university) is better funded with better infrastructure, it would actually push other univs. in the state/country for the same kind of infrastructure. There is a flip side too. The local univs may start cribbing about it. There is a need to bring about the transparency and at the same time financial accountability of FU's to light. They cannot spend more than 'so much' so as to give other univs in the country/state a fair chance.

But again, what will the accreditation process for these FU's in India. Will they be compromised. Will there be transparency in the manner in which the accreditation is provided to these universitites ?

What about placements ? Will FU's be biased towards their countries and try to bring in recruiters from their home ? If that is the case, who will work here ? What about the plethora of opportunities in our country ?

How much can we rely on these FU's ? The fear of a 'phoren culture' on our education system ?

Sorry for the long comment.

B said...

Chinmayi, this is a very critical issue which will define the future of India education & in turn the quality Indian intellectual capital.

In marketing parlance, everything a company does has to depend on identification of “the need”. Going by the same logic, we need to 1st identify the quantitative & qualitative needs of Indian education system. If we don’t take such a disciplined approach on this issue, we may not only inherit the good aspects of Western education but also the dirty aspects.

Quantitative Needs
a) we need much more “physical educational infrastructure” than we have today. We need more campuses, class rooms, labs, hostels, sports stadiums, etc. we don’t have all the money, we need the foreign universities to help here.

b) we need funding for research. we are utterly short on this count & Indian enterprise is unwilling to come in here, so we need foreign help here.

c) we need model universities. We need the stanfords, mit’s, oxfords(or at least among the top 100 univ’s in the world) of the world to setup up “Multi-discipline Mega Campus Universities” which then can be replicated by other smaller/Indian players.

Qualitative Needs:
a) On the Primary education side, we don’t have to learn anything from the west. In fact, its better that we don’t learn from them. There are some good aspects of their schooling system like the emphasis on stage-speaking, sports, community involvement, moral education, etc. However, there is a serious deficiency in their primary which “excessive pampering” of children. The primary education of the west treats them like children like "babies in nappies" by giving them too much of free choice to do what they want. They ignore that there are some “fundamental things any kid needs to know which are absolutely critical to survive in a modern world”.

Whereas, the Indian schooling system treats children with respect, treats them as adults expecting them to take more responsibility, work harder, compete & succeed. If we take a the easier route(like Kapil Sibal did) to gain cheap popularity, we will suffer in the long run.

b) We need more high quality PHD’s in universities & more research on campus. And the researchers should be encouraged to take more classes for under-graduate students.

c) we need higher pay for quality/dedicated/professional teachers who have a strong interest in staying at the cutting edge of their chosen field. We need to bring in at least 1000 of the best foreign professors in the world to change the culture in our universities.
We need a encourage the return of 1000’s of Indians in working in the cutting edge research & teaching profession outside India, especially the younger lot. Maybe given them a income tax break like we do for companies in SEZ's.

d) we need to build a TRAINED ACADEMIC MANAGERS(like VC’s, deans, etc.) whose challenge it will be to build a strong “industry-university partnership” without it turning into a “Nexus” between them & without diluting their core focus on education.

In summary, it seems like we have more of a quantitative need than a qualitative need.

The fear is that, by allowing foreign universities we will actually only bring “cheap, 3rd rate, profit-obsessed, SO CALLED” universities as is the case until now. And we may not be able to attract the Top 100-200 of them.

The key is that government should invite & encourage by giving an “automatic approval” for the Top 300 or 500 universities around the world. Let them make money but they will at least bring in quality. However, anyone who does not belong to these top institutes should be scrutinized by a panel of top academicians like professors from IISC, TIFR, ISRO, JNU, etc. They have to grill the intentions of these universities before allowing them to take advantage of the Indian market.

Please do share with us your thoughts after this event. Have a good time.

B said...

Chinmayi, you dont need to post this, but please see this blog for my detailed view on Prof Yash Pal Committee report on higher education.

You might have read the Yash pal report already, if not please try to do so, it gives you a good account on where we stand...

gils said...

heyyyy :) me back after a looooooooonggggg long time to ur so many posts to read..just read that thayir saadam post.. :) loved it. ellar veetu thaatha paatiyum ipdi thaan pola :) so shweet :)

Priya said...

Hi Chin,

Definitely it would receive a 'great welcome'. Some of the positive impacts I feel it would bring:

1) Instead of the spoon fed way of learning things during graduation (thats what is happening in most of the colleges now as they want their college to top the charts to attract the parents to admit their students in their college. IITS and NITS are exceptional may be), bringing foreign universities would influence the students towards research and discussion oriented way of learning their subjects.

2) Emphasising the value of the concepts using team building exercises and not bothering about the gender difference. (There are colleges where there is a written rule that boys and girls should not talk)

3) Vast choices of specialisation courses in each field. There are many specialisation courses that are present only in foreign universities and not in India because of lack of facility or faculty.


Anu Karthik said...

I think if there is a way to get funding to do be able to implement some of the great ideas that lurk in the awesome indian minds, that would be very profitable to our country!

Deepak said...

By now it must be over...
Tell us what happened there!

seenuvasan said...

It is a good idea.Fees paid at foreign universities are very less compared to money spent on accommodation, food expenses and personal maintenance in foreign countries.If we get the same quality education here, it would be a big bonanza for foreign education aspirants who can come out of such huge expenses.
But nowadays people who prefer to pursue a foreign degree,like to be settled in the foreign counties with good job and good salary.These foreign universities in India will attract only the people who would like to get good education and a good job in India.Unfortunately this population is less in India.

பிரியமுடன்... said...


M GANESAN said...

Dear Ms.Chinmayi,

I am reading this late. Hope you have finished the task well.



chandra said...


I have been working on this area for quite some time and it has been very exciting movement (some time saddened to see) to learn and think through the Indian Higher Education System. One think is more completed than simply to muse in a narrow way is the competition system and its dynamism to reduce the price without reducing quality higher education. How do you cope up with the prevailing license permit ray system?


Sownthar said...

Very eager in knowing what you would have talked about Foreign universities Impact,, Share that words and expereince on that,,, Hope u'll,,,

Unknown said...

Hello there,
Missed some opprtunity to comment any how, will put my view here.

1. Most forigen univ will give education based on their high school system, so this must be reviewd as how it matches ours.

2. Pre-technical & post Graduation seems to have an industrial collaboration in forigen, must check from that point of view.

3.Many forigen Univ grading system & education system might not be the same. So must provide a tool or a protocol to have a grading system matching our style.

Sorry that didnt see the post much early.If these points are made already well & good. If not just try to put across.


ஊடகன் said...

உங்களின் கன்னத்தில் முத்தமிட்டால் படத்தில் வரும் நெஞ்சில் ஜில் ஜில் " பாடு எனக்கு மிகவும் பிடித்தது.....

உங்களின் வலைப்பதிவை இன்று தான் பார்த்தேன்......மகிழ்ச்சி.........வாழ்த்துக்கள்.........

Unknown said...

I welcome foreign univ in India...defenitely we will have more courses to study other than IT ..Fees is the main US for a year it costs$30,000...if its same in India it is difficult for us...Good luck chinnu

AshWin said...

Glad U moderated it.... but read this late... anywhere where I can find Synopsis of this meet.. and discusion..?