Approach towards Foreign Universities

Prof. Pankaj Jalote has a nice article in Economic Times titled "Who's afraid of Foreign Universities?

Following are some salient points in his article (various phrases and sentences have been directly lifted from that article):
  • He suggests that the foreign universities can not charge too much more than the private Indian Universities and surmises that they will charge about $5000 (Rs 250,000) per year. [I don't agree with that. I think they can charge more.]
  • I agree with him when he says that the top university are not going to come with the goal of making profit. He then gives very good reasons why should a good foreign university come to India? He also discusses how can India attract them to come?
  • Why should a good foreign university come to India?
    • To establish a presence in emerging India and enhance their global brand value.
    • To tap India's R & D talent.
    • To use the India operation to have students from other countries get their brand of education at a cheaper cost.
    • Reduce cost at parent institution by having exchange program between the parent institution and the India operation.
    • Good foreign universities, because of their existing brand name, can hire and retain better faculty than Indian institutes/universities.
      1. Because of branding
      2. Because the faculty in India operations can be given opportunities to spend time (say on sabbatical) during sabbatical at the home campus
    • Foreign universities can use their existing staff to start the operation in India. So setting-up is easier than starting from zero.
  • What should India do?
    • Focus on getting top universities with research programs
    • Can do that by
      • Inviting top universities to open campuses here
      • Putting the only constraint that some percentage of their students should be PhD students (at least one-fourth). 
    • If this constraint is agreed to, then government should facilitate their operations by 
      • providing cheap land, and 
      • giving complete freedom to operate.

I am not completely convinced that the top foreign universities will agree to the above constraint and will be willing to come to India with that constraint. But if they do, Orissa government should facilitate their coming and setting a branch campus in Orissa.

UNion HRD minister Kapil Sibal's talk at MIT and the following discussion is at http://techtv.mit.edu/tags/5218-sibal/videos/4310-mit-india-forum-2009. His goal was to convince top research universities like MIT to set shop in India. 

His main argument was that various problems need multi-national research collaborations. Some of these problems though local in it occurrence in India has global implications. But since they manifest in India, they can not be solved remotely seating in US. He was thus arguing that top universities need to go to India and collaborate and help in solving these problems which have global implications. He gave example of rickshaw pullers getting TB due to pollution.

He talked about big pharma companies going to India because of the lower cost of developing drugs in India.

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