ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Interrogating the Internationalisation of Indian Higher Education

While there are some promising changes for higher education in the University Grants Commission (Setting up and Operation of Campuses of Foreign Higher Educational Institutions in India) Regulations, 2023, it also suffers from certain flawed assumptions. The inherent contradictions of this draft and its premises of internationalising higher education are under scrutiny by educationist, policy analysts and other stakeholders.

The concept of university stands for free flow of knowledge beyond boundaries to strengthen the edu­­cation system and human resource development process. Considering the hig­her education prospects in ­India, this regulation may not surprise us. With around 38 million students in 50,000 academic institutions, including 1,057 universities, and the goal of doubling gross enrolment rates from the current 26.3% to 50% by 2035 would go in fav­our of internationalisation of higher edu­cation. After China, India is the second largest source of international students globally. Importantly, the National Edu­cation Policy 2020 promises to open up a highly regulated and a largely closed academic system to the world. The traditional Indian swadeshi (local) ideology in education is expected to be replaced by an open-door policy in education (Albatch 2022).

The recent attempts at internationa­lising higher education by inviting foreign universities to India have not been very encouraging. This is because over 6.5 lakh Indian students went abroad in 2022 alone to pursue higher education, according to data shared by the Ministry of Education in Parliament. The number of students who went to study abroad showed a significant rise from 4.54 lakh in 2017 to 5.86 lakh in 2019. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the number fell by half to 2.59 lakh in 2020. Over 4.4 lakh Indians went abroad for higher education in 2021. Note that 2022 show­ed significant increase in this number compensating for the decline during the pandemic period (PTI 2023a: 1).

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Updated On : 1st May, 2023
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