As we move around the corridors of Education Ministry in India, we often hear statements like “India itself has huge demand internally and so we don’t need international students”. Its not just those even our Economic Wings talk of “foreign students kyu chaiye (Why foreign students)”. Its strange to put a case of how a nation with 70% young population is already global as he is on Facebook talking to people from around the world, watching videos on YouTube from different countries, visiting and learning about various cultures and markets. Why aren’t we able to put our minds, body and system with our visionary Prime Minister who understands the importance of “Internationalization”. There are huge benefits of building “Study in India” and to take a case in point, lets look at US and the value the immigrants have added:
“More than 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or a child of immigrants. According to the Partnership for a New American Economy these companies employ more than 10 million people worldwide and generate annual revenue of $4.2 trillion”
India is young, energetic and cheerful for the new age of digital disruption. We see a lot of initiatives around Digital India, Make in India and Start up India. It is time for India to stand and understand that all of these will be possible when our campuses are truly becoming feed for those success stories.
Make in India that demonstrates the Indian Government vision to make India new manufacturing capital will require efforts from the Higher education sector and the HRD ministry. How will a company from Japan , Korea or any other place in the world feel comfortable if they don’t have any talent from their own country present. How will they hire managers who come from the same background, culture and working ethos, which are very different in each of the respective countries. How will they integrate their research and development needs if the campuses just have one-dimensional approach to teaching and learning of the students.
Technology solves some of the biggest problem globally. The reason US is able to truly build technology and solutions for global population is because of its strong immigrant population. It nurtures and learns from them the traits and beliefs of each market while scaling their solution to fit each market. It innovates in each market with its offering based on the intelligence and experience shared by these young Indian who travel to US for their higher education. We not only send our brightest minds but also our value beliefs and learning about our country which are the most important assets for them. And if they are bright they are incentivized to stay back and start their own companies.
When will India truly have global products? While building Start Up India campaign we would need our young minds to learn and build networks with people from across the world. If we can have our campuses which are diverse and global we would be able to train the young students around different perspectives, lifestyles, behaviors and mental models which are very varied as we start traveling to different countries. To have that knowledge & experience will be the biggest differentiating factor in the 21st century for young people of our country. It is truly a moment in history for India to capture this time and start working on building frameworks to attract foreign students and minds to come and be a part of our learning community. We need the Center as well as State Government to allow more freedom to its institute to build innovative campaign to attract more of these minds to solve some of the biggest problems facing this country.
It is the best moment under the leadership of a champion Prime minister Mr. Narendra Modi who understand the value and benefits of globalization. Here are the steps which they recommend National Policy Makers to be taking:
1) Make student visa policies simple, transparent and consistent.
2) Create an ecosystem of building cultural sensitivity for international students in student towns.
3) Build policies to encourage post study work options along with a strong push to entrepreneurial visa category.
4) Embark on a outreach plan to make international students as ambassadors of the country
5) Provide a platform to have dialogue around further improvement in building right ecosystem and awareness for foreign nationals living in India
6) Create strong scholarship program that will encourage the best brain to choose India as their study options.
Their Suggested State Policy Framework:
1) Encourage twining programs between the state universities and international university to build better brand awareness.
2) Build a outreach plan as a state to encourage mobility and credit transfers between the universities.
3) Create good and quality housing for the students.
4) Be an enabler and encourage more foreign universities to set up satellite campuses.
For Universities it is this enabling environment which will help them prosper. They would need to concentrate on the outreach and brand building exercise to increase the diversity. We are in middle of a “Revolution” from the consumers “Students” on our campuses who want to learn in a global campus and with the right framework we would be able to achieve a goal of getting 100000 foreign students to India by 2020.
Isn’t this the dawn of a massive revolution? Well, what are your thoughts and ideas on the same? Share them in the comment section.