(GIST OF YOJANA) Internationalisation of Higher Education

(GIST OF YOJANA) Internationalisation of Higher Education


Internationalisation of Higher Education

  • In the last decade of the 20th century, the rapid globalisation and regionalisation of economies, endowed with the requirements of the knowledge economy, created a huge push towards internationalisation of higher education.
  • Global institutions such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), UNESCO, World Bank and many federal governments of various countries placed internationalisation as one of their priorities in the reform agenda. In due course of time, internationalisation of higher education was not only a focus in the developed world but also in developing and emerging economies.
  • Some of the key elements that the last three decades has witnessed are: mobility and exchange of students, scholars and faculty, collaborative/twinning programs, and reputation building and branding of universities and higher educational institutions (HEIs) through global and regional rankings. The number of international students in the global higher education ecosystem in the last ten years (2010-20) has doubled to 5 million. 

Internationalisation of Higher Education, globally, in the last three decades (1990-2020) has witnessed the following key trends:

  • Increasingly driven by national and global rankings with focus on internationalisation abroad than on “internationalisation at home”.
  • More or a case by case basis, ad hoc, arrangements with regards to internationalisation policy and absence of a comprehensive and robust foreign education policy.
  • Mostly catered to a small segment of elite students and not being inclusive and intercultural.
  • Economic and political imperatives been the primary force for promoting it as opposed to creating a global intellectual world order embedded with rich socio-cultural diversity.
  • Prominently and strategically practiced more among developed economies than in emerging and developing economies.

Types of Educational Exchanges:

  • One of the significant aspects in the post economic liberalisation was the signing of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) under the WTO in 1995, which identifies education as a ‘service to be liberalised and regulated by trade rules.’ Under the provisions of the GATS of which India is a signatory, there are four kinds of supply of services:
  • Cross-border supply of services from territory of one member to another member (distance education, e-leaming).
  • Consumption of a service abroad by the citizens of a member country in the territory of another member country (study abroad).
  • Commercial presence of service supplier of a member country in the territory of another member country (presence of foreign universities in other territories).
  • Presence of natural persons enabling a form of trade resulting from mobility of people from one-member country to another country (cross-border mobility of teachers).

Robust Framework for Collaboration with Foreign Universities & Export of Education Services:

  • Provide autonomy to Institutions of Eminence (IoEs) and high NAAC rated/NIRF ranked institutions to design and run online programs for foreign students.
  • Top NIRF & NAAC ranking Indian Universities should be encouraged to develop joint online programs with top 500 foreign universities with appropriate credits.
  • The cap on intake of international students should be raised from the present 15% to 25% on supernumerary basis that will help in cross subsidising fee for Indian students.
  • For twinning programs, the requirement of spending 1-2 semesters in a foreign university campus needs to be relaxed in the Covid-19 environment. The course should be allowed to be completed entirely in India with virtual support from foreign universities. 
  • Establish Indian Network for Internationalisation of Education (INIE) that will be in the form of a consortium of Universities that are ahead in internationalisation. With international network as associate members, this network can frame policies and also mentor other universities in various aspects of Internationalisation.

Robust Study in India (SII) program:

  • The “Study in India” program launched by the Government in 2018 needs to be executed strategically on a mission mode by engaging relevant stakeholders. Some of the key recommendations for its effective implementation are:
  • Appoint an education counsellor at every Indian embassy abroad in order to help promote India higher education and the benefits of studying in India.
  • Create a strong scholarship programme that will encourage the best brains to choose India as a study option.
  • Develop “student cities” that should be safe along with adequate infrastructural and logistical support.
  • Develop niche programmes in the areas that India has expertise in, such as life sciences, space sciences, creative disciplines, etc. Create unique elective programs such as a yoga, arts & sciences, traditional medicines, etc. that can be taken up by foreign students along with the mainstream courses such as engineering, management, etc.
  • Create a framework to map the credits of Indian programmes with a global framework so that there is a seamless mobility/transfer of credits.
  • A joint working group should be created with interministerial collaborations at the federal level and city level administrators along with leaders of leading public and private HEIs to develop a conducive ecosystem that will encourage cross mobility of students, faculty and researchers.
  • Effective industry engagement for apprenticeships and employment, safe and secure living environment, state-of-the-art infrastructure, etc. are some of the other critical pre-requisites to boost international mobility of foreign students in India. 

Sustained Promotion of Indian Higher Education Abroad:

  • The NEP 2020 suggests setting up a legislative framework to promote top 100 foreign universities set up campuses in India and vice versa. It is important that the execution modalities are clearly spelt out in the implementation framework.
  • Promote Indian Higher Education regularly in global education fairs like NAFSA: Association of International Educators, European Association of International Education (EAIE), Asia Pacific Association for International Education (APAIE), etc. by showcasing the best of universities, programs and innovations in a professional manner.

Facilitating Cross Mobility in Medical Sector:

  • To encourage foreign medical students and doctors to educate and practice in India (both the basic doctor/primary physician and super- specialist who is capable of providing high level care), National Medical Commission (NMC) should bring about following amendments as mentioned below:
  • With regards to MBBS doctors, medical graduates who get education in countries where NMC is not satisfied with quality of education, the Indian government should have a dialogue with the foreign counterpart and collaborate with them to make the course at par with Indian standard. Alternately, these students may be given a compulsory two-year bridge course with one year compulsory rural posting before they appear in the NBE exam.
  • For super specialists, NMC currently allows doctors with OCI card from countries such as USA, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand to practice in India. It is suggested that this should be extended to foreign nationals of countries where the qualifications are of acceptable standard. Currently as per the regulation, the right to practice medicine in India is limited to Indian citizens, OCI persons only. This restricts the ability of foreign doctors from working in India. It is time the government should open this up to passport holders of countries which is acceptable by the MEA.
  • The 1.2 million doctors of Indian origin living abroad should be invited to practice in India even for few weeks and carry out teaching/mentoring programs and leadership trainings.
  • To enable capacity building of healthcare workers and training for appropriate skill-sets, collaborative programs with various countries between healthcare institutions and universities at UG and PG levels should be organised.



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Courtesy: Yojana