SEPC set up by Ministry of Commerce & Industry to build a portal for the internationalization of higher education

New Delhi: In a recent webinar on “India a Global Education Hub,” Services Export Promotion Council (SEPC) addressed India’s potential as a central education hub for international students to bring a lasting change to the prevailing state of affairs in the education sector. The webinar was conducted on Wednesday, 9th June 2021, from 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM. SEPC has been conducting monthly webinars on several current and relevant topics to add value to various sectors.


The webinar on ‘India a Global Education Hub’ had the panel put forward ideas and solutions towards some significant aspects such as ‘India’s potential to become a central education hub for international students post COVID-19’, ‘The impact of COVID-19 on international students’ inflow to India’, ‘Digital education as future of imparting education to international students,’ ‘Do Indian universities have the required infrastructure to go digital?’, ‘Would private universities like to invest in Digital Education related infrastructure to attract international students?’ and other essential aspects.


Commencing the meeting, Dr Abhay Sinha, Director General of SEPC, said, “India has an enormous potential to offer superior training to international students. The Government of India has announced initiatives like “Study in India”, which helped bring more international students to our country. Still, some hurdles have not been letting the potential be utilised effectively. The main challenge faced by interest in international education is COVID-19. The pandemic has affected the international movement of students and teachers across the world. Universities have received almost NIL enrollments of international students in the last session (2020-21) and the ongoing session (2021-22), not just in India, but around the globe.”


The eminent panellists who voiced their views for change were Prof. (Dr.) Furqan Qamar, Former Vice-Chancellor, University of Rajasthan and Central University of Himachal Pradesh., Dr Pramath Raj Sinha, Founder & Chairman, Harappa Education & Founder Trustee, Ashoka University, Dr (Mrs) Pankaj Mittal, Secretary-General of the Association of Indian Universities (AIU) and Ms Shivani Singh Kapoor, Founder, ThinkStart-up.


Addressing the meeting, Dr Pramath Raj Sinha, said “The best way to globalise our education is to educate our students better and improve the quality of the current education system. Let us create and innovate high-quality programs for our students. Secondly, we have to promote our education offline heavily and consistently. Thirdly, online is a massive opportunity. Let us utilise it to promote the quality of pedagogy that we offer to drive more international opportunities.”


Mr Maneck Davar, Chairman of SEPC, stated that “The SEPC and e-Commerce will join hands to build a portal on education for emphasising the quality of education we could provide to the international students. This digital portal will promote the quality of pedagogy that India offers and all related content. SEPC will take all the necessary initiatives to implement it soon. The portal will pave the way for opportunities through which the educational institutions will gain through the visibility among overseas users of digital content, institutions, various courses and attracting foreign students.”


Mrs Shivani Singh Kapoor quoted that “We are an education rich country and our education policy is very hard to be replicated by other countries. We have global leaders and changemakers in our country, and we can sell their success stories to bring international students to our country. Students abroad look for experiences more than education, and we have that unique experience to share, thanks to our diversity.”


The webinar threw light upon critical areas where changes could tap the true potential of education in the country. Quality content in our education system, an innovative model of education that is inclusive and friendly to students worldwide, synergy with industry to increase employability post successful completion of our education programs, and creating brand equity to promote the visibility of our renowned institutions in the world domain was such key areas highlighted.


Considering the growing importance of the education sector globally, Services Export Promotion Council (SEPC) conducted this webinar to propel Indian education internationally by attaining solutions to the current challenges. The webinar brought in influential educationists and thought-leaders from various parts of the country, collectively, to discuss solutions to the future of imparting education to international students by breaking all the hurdles faced in the current situation.