The main plans of the policy regarding higher education are to set up National Research Foundation, National Education Technology Forum and Special Education Zones and to invite top foreign universities to set up campuses in India. Despite these merit deep-dive analyzes, it is the last to draw immediate attention to the internationalization of higher education. It is not so easy to implement. I will share some insights on the promise and challenges of this step and how to implement it. This article is limited to management education in the broader framework of higher education.
The government hopes to invite the top 100 foreign universities to set up campuses in India. It promotes competition and integration in higher education, as we have seen with Indian industry since the 1991 economic liberalization. It is estimated that even if India gets foreign exchange by attracting students, it will be able to save $ 18 billion going out of the country. Other countries for these foreign universities.
Consider a transfer landscape. In the post-Kovid world, by contrast, the traditional perception of internationalization has taken a 180-degree turn. Although it is a flat world with free borders, students now face barriers in many countries from the US to the UK. The other important way to shrink the pandemic world is through greater digitization. Digital learning with advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence and virtual reality can reduce distances, tuition costs, and the need for physical campuses. Educators and students need to release ways to discuss with each other, do research and work with industry and government to develop solutions to problems.
If the 100 foreign universities identified in NEP set up campuses, there would be integration in higher education. Most tier-2 and tier-3 colleges look tough. The cost of education may increase, but the country needs inclusive higher education. Balancing the two can be difficult but challenging. Innovative solutions are needed so that even the brightest students from the less-privileged sections of society can benefit from world-class education and they stay in the country.
We need a fresh perspective. There are certain preconditions necessary for this kind of globalization to succeed. International-quality faculty is the first step. Establishing foreign universities will bring some of the best faculty to India, which is not enough. Pay scales and incentives must match global standards. In this regard, it may be worthwhile to emulate the model of the Indian School of Business (ISB). When it opened in 2001, it attracted non-resident Indian faculty. This was made possible by its partnership with Wharton, Kellogg and the London Business School. In the marketing domain, for example, at least 10 professors from the global top 25 teach at ISB. We need to create an environment that includes them in nurturing the Indian educated of tomorrow.
ISB has a number of senior Global Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) on its board. It should be noted that global organizations have benefited from the Indian C-Suite leadership in Satya Nadella, Sundar Pichai, Arvind Krishna, Indra Nooyi and others. Also, the Fortune 500 list includes 50 Global Indian CEOs. All of them have achieved their potential abroad, but the main question is whether it has happened in the Indian environment as well. China has been able to recapture high-quality Chinese talent through innovative schemes such as term professorships at leading universities and opportunities to work on public and private-sector boards. India needs to do more to attract business and education leaders of Indian descent.
Other changes that contribute to the globalization of management education are better governance of institutions, greater autonomy and world-class infrastructure. However, there may also be calls from existing management companies for a level-playing field. Therefore, we must be careful.
We also need new models for implementation. The internationalization of higher education in India so far has taken place in limited ways. World class institutions like Ashoka University, OP Jindal University, ISB should be set up. Second, Indian higher education institutions such as SP Jain Global now have a physical presence abroad. Third, we need alliances between Indian and foreign institutions for curriculum development, student exchange programs and dual certification.
We must take courage, not baby steps. In the future, it may take new directions. For example, Indian and foreign universities may award dual degrees. We may only have partnerships with more than two universities.
We also have to be creative. Indian companies can also partner with private sector programs. There may be programs between our technology and management institutes and the Infosys Leadership Institute or the IBM Institute for Business. These are common in Germany, where companies such as SAP and Daimler share professors and labs with universities. ISB is taking such steps, working with Microsoft India on everything from entrepreneurship to business innovation.
Joint appointments, through which a faculty member teaches the same course at both institutions, which can also be continued. For example, we may have a collaboration between the Indian Institute of Technology and the School of Management. The industry-academy partnership also brings the best industry practices to teaching. Furthermore, unlike traditional MBA courses, executive education can also greatly benefit from initiating management education. NEP is an important step. But its implementation is crucial for the transition to Indian education.
Rajendra Srivastava is the Dean of the Indian School of Business.