India to promote itself as a global education destination; invite international universities to set up India campuses

India is aiming to promote itself as a global destination for students by providing premium education at affordable costs, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said on Friday, adding that over 50,000 students from 164 countries are currently studying in Indian universities and the number is expected to rise in the years to come

Nov 13, 2021
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India is aiming to promote itself as a global destination for students by providing premium education at affordable costs, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said on Friday, adding that over 50,000 students from 164 countries are currently studying in Indian universities and the number is expected to rise in the years to come.

In his address at the Diplomatic Conclave on Higher Education Organized by Chandigarh University, he quoted Prime Minister Narendra Modi as saying that India bears the capability of providing talent and technology to the world. Shringla said one of the key principles of the New Education Policy (NEP) 2020 was to provide the appropriate policy framework to nurture and advance the ecosystem and it is going to be among the Ministry of External Affairs' leading responsibilities in the years ahead.

Shringla said the NEP provides for international universities to set up campuses in India, and would provide greater avenues for international universities to explore partnerships with Indian universities to set up teaching, learning and research programmes through micro hubs at Indian university campuses, instead of needing to build a full-fledged campus.

Creative forms of collaboration, through dual degree programmes and online degrees and credits, will further facilitate opportunities for foreign universities in India without having to necessarily go down the campus route, he said.

“Partnerships of Indian universities with foreign universities will be mutually beneficial,” he said, adding India has entered into Educational Exchange Programmes/ Memorandums of Understanding with more than 50 countries across Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. These include arrangements with the US, UK and Australia,

The Educational Exchange Programmes and MOUs envisage cooperation through several initiatives like:

i. Exchange of scholars, students and researchers;

ii. Sharing of information/ publications;

iii. Organizing joint seminars, workshops, conferences etc.;

iv. Working towards mutual recognition of qualifications;

v. Developing institutional linkages.

India also has educational cooperation networks with different international organizations and multilateral/ plurilateral bodies like the UNESCO, BRICS, SAARC, India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA), East Asia Summit, ASEAN, Indian Ocean Rim Association, OECD and the European Union.

“India is fairly unique in being host to tens of thousands of international students as well as sending out tens of thousands of students abroad. The Ministry of External Affairs is an important facilitator and source of support for international students, including by way of administering a significant scholarship programme. Overseas, our Embassies and Consulates provide a familiar face, a helping hand and a listening ear to Indian students in far-off countries who may occasionally encounter issues and challenges, or may simply be missing home,” he added.

“This two-way process and exchange of young students, scholars, academics and talent will continue and in fact intensify in the years ahead. It is entirely welcome because the free flow of knowledge, and of knowledge seekers and producers, is fundamental to international understanding and to a globalised economy.”

“From Indian students who have helped contribute to the tech ecosystem in Silicon Valley to Indian universities and teachers who have educated generations of public leaders across the continent of Africa, the examples are there for all to see. They are both numerous and noteworthy.”

“As a producer and incubator of knowledge and knowledge systems, India has always been open to sharing its learning with other countries,” Shringla said, echoing the government's newly enunciated policy on the issue. (SAM)