Delhi: A new UK India Business Council report, ‘Beyond the Top 200’, sets out how India’s new higher education policy could accelerate India’s rise to superpower status by enabling young Indians to receive the world’s best higher education in India through greater availability of the top courses provided globally.
The UK Higher Education Delegation meeting Dr. N Sarvana Kumar, Joint Secretary, Higher Education (4th from left) During their visit to India UKIBC’s ‘Beyond the Top 200’ Report
The report, launched in the margins of the FICCI Higher Education Summit, advocates for effective international collaboration in Indian Higher Education. On the path to becoming a 21st global superpower, India will need is rightly placing excellence, equal access, and employability at the heart of expanding its Higher Education system.
As the report highlights, UK Higher Education institutions can, and want, to play an important role in supporting this goal at every level. To meet this challenge, Richard Heald, UKIBC Chief Executive, said, “We are highly encouraged that the Government of India is creating policy to allow foreign universities to operate in the country. This is a welcome step that would allow the best courses, teaching, and facilities available globally to directly change lives in India. However, there is consideration being given by the Committee developing India’s new policy to allow only the top 200 globally ranked universities to participate with the best Indian institutions. We think this will limit the supply of genuinely top-quality learning opportunities for Indians.”
Building on Heald’s comments, Tara Panjwani, UKIBC’s Head of Higher Education, said that “To truly unlock the potential of India’s young population, a more flexible approach is needed. Our report therefore recommends that all institutions, whether Indian or foreign, public or private, and irrespective of ranking, be permitted to forge international partnerships should it demonstrate, to both parties, real added value. Only this way can international collaboration meet the demand of India’s students, institutions, and employers.”
Following the launch event and an interaction with the MHRD, the UKIBC delegates are confident and positive about the Indian Higher education environment and are encouraged by initiatives such as SPARC and GIAN, which will strengthen UK India Higher Education Relations. Indeed, one of the delegates, Lewis McKinnon from the University of London, stated that he is “confident that discussions with the MHRD has shown the commitment from UK HE institutions to contribute to India’s success and to work toward creating a favourable environment for all to work in… to ensure a prosperous future between India and the UK.”