Attempts by the government of India to impose new rules on centrally funded universities that would restrict academic freedoms and the right to protest or strike are being reversed.
It is being billed by the Modi government as an attempt to introduce ‘minimum government, maximum governance’, but Indian higher education needs much more deep-rooted change.
Several new proposals for Indian higher education promise incremental change to the system.
Source: Study International
“That’s a lot like Singapore study, study, work hard and you get an MBA, you will have a Mercedes but where is the creativity?”
Source: BBC World Service
India plans to extend healthcare coverage to 500 million people. But how to persuade city doctors to serve rural areas?
Source: Study International
Business schools in India are set for a revamp of their curriculum, which will see the introduction of a new course on Indian ethics and concepts.
Source: The PIE
Can passing on GST on to institutions and pleas for tax exemption be solutions for Indian education agents’ increased tax bills?
Source: Times of India
Bill Gates believes there is a need to reform the Indian education system and has ideas on how to do it.
Source: University World News
Higher education can be used for the social and economic mobility of underprivileged sections. This is achieved usually by providing admission to a set of students from these sections in universities and other institutes of higher education through the reservation of a quota of seats.
Source: The PIE
India’s government plans to merge the University Grants Commission and the All India Council for Technical Education into one national regulator, HEERA.
The National Council for Teacher Education promises drastic action against teacher training colleges, 3000 of which could be barred from taking admissions for the next academic year.
Source: The Economic Times
The rigid and heavily criticised regulatory regime of the UGC is set to undergo a major overhaul!
Source: The Globe & Mail
A federal government report showing that many international students are working in low-wage jobs after graduation is leading to calls to redesign Canada’s liberal employment rules for foreign graduates.
Canada is unusual among the world’s top destinations for international students in allowing graduates on a work permit to work in any field after they finish their studies. An internal report from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) found that the post-graduation work permit program (PGWP) was creating a poorly paid, underemployed work force among recent international student graduates at colleges and universities.
For the full article, visit The Globe & Mail.
Source: The PIE News
For the first time in more than two decades, the government of India is drafting a new education policy which will include reforms on the internationalisation in higher education, digitisation of education and skills development.
The government has released 33 discussion themes– 13 for secondary, 20 for post-secondary– to the public for consultation, a process which the government expects could take up to a year.
Speaking about the government’s new approach to internationalisation, Richard Everitt, director of education at the British Council in India said: “It’s not whether it should happen, but how to make it happen.”
Strengthening of vocational education; promotion of languages; integrating skills development in higher education; promoting open and distance learning and online courses; and engagement with industry to link education to employability are among other topics available for discussion on the government’s website until the end of March.
International education stakeholders in the country say the list of proposed discussion themes show the government is taking a relevant approach to modernise the current education environment.
Click here to view the full article…
Source: The Economic Times | January 6, 2014
NEW DELHI: Indian institutions could improve their scores dramatically in Times Higher Education’s globally cited World University Rankings as the British magazine has agreed to develop and include India-specific parameters for assessment from the next time.
Confirming the development, education secretary Ashok Thakur said the human resource development ministry had asked all groupings of domestic institutions such as the IITs, National Institutes of Technology and central universities to appoint a nodal person to coordinate with Times Higher Education to develop India-specific parameters.
Domestic institutions have long argued that the rankings, which give 55% weight to research indicators and 30% to teaching environment, including 15% to the faculty, do not take into account extenuating “Indian circumstances”.
No Indian institution has yet made it to the top 100 in the rankings, in which Panjab University is the highest ranked domestic institution clubbed in the group of universities ranked 226-250.
India’s premier engineering colleges, the Indian Institutes of Technology, made it to the list last year, with the IITs from Delhi, Kanpur, Kharagpur and Roorkee all ranked in the group of institutions between 351 and 400.
The government has been concerned over the poor performance of domestic institutions in international rankings and keen to ensure that the rankings take India-specific parameters on board.
There is little clarity on what exactly constitutes “Indian circumstances” except the constitutionally mandated reservation quotas (15% for scheduled castes, 7.5% for scheduled tribes and 27% for other backward classes) and the cross-cutting quota for physically-challenged persons. But issues including intake of foreign students, foreign faculty, marketing and branding of institutions will be addressed while designing India-specific parameters for assessment.
Academics and analysts argue that it is unfair to compare India’s top institutions with American or other western institutions. Centrally-funded institutions such as the IITs, which have a national mandate, cannot admit foreign students at the undergraduate level, and restrictions on assistantships for international students make it difficult to attract foreign students at the PhD level.
None of India’s publicly-funded higher education institution can hire foreign nationals as regular faculty members since guidelines prohibit hiring of foreigners for jobs with salaries less than $25,000 a year. Moreover, even at higher salaries, international faculty can only be brought in on contract for up to five years.
The ministry had also approached the widely respected Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) Rankings to develop India-specific parameters for assessment.
TCS Insights: By using India-specific parameters, Indian educational institutions will be better able to compete with international colleges and universities when ranked together. It is difficult for publicly funded institutions in India to measure up to global competition while unable to take in foreign undergraduate students and competing for PhD students from abroad. Times Higher Education has made it possible for such institutions to compete in a manner that is better suited for them.
Source: Hindustan Times
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Sunday accepted the 10,50,000 letters written to her by the Delhi residents over inflated water and power bills following the protest of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) at Jantar Mantar in the national Capital.
AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal said Dikshit’s agreeing to accept the letters is “people’s victory.”
Kejriwal vowed that the movement against the inflated bills would continue until the tariffs are brought down, and alleged that both the Congress and the BJP have together cartelised the water and electricity sector in the state.
“At 9 am one of my associates, Dilip Pandey, got a call from the chief minister’s Office saying Sheila Dikshit wanted to talk. Dikshit said she will receive the protest letters. She was compelled to do so because of the people’s pressure. She had to bow down to the people,” said Kejriwal, while addressing a gathering.
Since the chief minister agreed to accept 10,50,000 letters of protest to her written by the people of Delhi highlighting the inflated bills, the AAP activists called off their scheduled march to her residence, AAP spokesperson Aswathi Muralidharan said.
In the afternoon, AAP activists Manish Sisodia and Kumar Vishwas along with 10 other party members boarded a bus, carrying the protest letters from Jantar Mantar and handed these over to Dikshit’s staff around 3 pm at her residence at Motilal Nehru Marg in New Delhi’s VIP area.
Kejriwal said the movement against inflated water and power bills would continue till the bills are either waived off or the charges are reduced.
“Our aim is not just to submit these (over) 10 lakh letters, but we are seeking action on them. Our protest is unlike that of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Vijay Goel who simply protests for limelight. We have said we won’t pay our bills and this movement will continue till these bills are reduced,” he asserted.
Kejriwal said the Congress governments both at the Centre and in the state had failed to address the issue of water crisis in the national Capital.
“Every year, the Prime Minister says that we will provide water to every household in this country. They have not been able to provide water to Delhi in the past 65 years. How will they provide water to the entire country,” he asked.
“Sheila Dikshit has been in power for the past 15 years. Why has not the issue been addressed,” he asked. Most of the water tanker companies are owned by leaders of these two parties, and the government was hand in glove with the power discoms, he alleged.
Earlier, Delhi Traffic Police eased the traffic restrictions they had imposed in Janpath-Sansad Marg area due to protests and demonstrations.
Kejriwal fasted for 15 days earlier this month to press his demand for reduction in water and electricity tariffs in the capital.
EMERGING PRIORITIES FOR SUSTAINABLE PARTNERSHIPS
To be organized by Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute
at the India International Centre in New Delhi
June 1, 2013
The Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute is a bi-national organization that promotes understanding between India and Canada through academic activities and exchanges. Its broad-based initiatives support the creation of bi-national links between academia, government, the business community and civil society organizations by funding research, faculty and student exchange, conferences, workshops and seminars. With a membership of 93 leading Indian and Canadian universities and research institutions, the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute has facilitated greater collaboration between Indian and Canadian institutions in the humanities, social sciences, arts, science & technology, legal education, and management studies. The Institute, as part of its mandate, has also supported research on sustainable development and other United Nations Millennium Development Goals.
The Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute is organizing a Conference at the India International Centre, New Delhi on June 1, 2013, to present collaborative research that has been completed, or is currently being undertaken, by Indian and Canadian universities/research institutions in four focus areas.
- Energy & Environment
- Public Health
- Food Security & Sustainable Development
- Bi-lateral Trade and Investment
Emerging opportunities and strategies to address challenges in these four areas that have been identified as priority sectors by both the Indian and Canadian governments will be the themes of this Conference. One of the objectives of this Conference is to gather experts and a new cadre of researchers to discuss their contributions to higher learning while weaving academic and institutional collaborations between Canada and India. It is expected that strategic recommendations will be derived from the Conference that will contribute to sustained academic and institutional partnerships.
Call for Papers
Papers are invited from faculty, post-doctoral researchers, and doctoral students from Shastri member institutions, as well as faculty/researchers from non-member institutions to present and share work that has been completed or is currently progressing in these four areas. The papers could be the outcome of research funded by the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute or by other agencies, universities or research institutions. We particularly encourage submissions that develop inter-disciplinary themes.
Abstract of Papers must be submitted by April 30, 2013, to Dr. Prachi Kaul, Programme Officer, Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute by email at email@example.com. Authors must indicate the focus area for which they would like their paper to be considered.
April 30, 2013: Deadline for Submission of Abstracts
May 15, 2013: Acceptance Notification
June 1, 2013: Conference
Travel and Accommodation
Economy class air-fare within India, and local accommodation in New Delhi, will be provided to out-station scholars whose papers have been selected for presentation at the Conference. Travel and accommodation arrangements/ reimbursements will be done according to the travel and accommodation policy of the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute.
Dr. Biju Paul Abraham, IIM Calcutta, and Dr. Ravishankar Rao, Mangalore University
Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute
Source: World News Australia
Under new rules, foreign students who graduate with an Australian bachelor’s degree, masters or doctorate can work for up to four years in Australia upon completion.
International students have greater chances to find employment under the federal government’s changes to the 485 Temporary Graduate visa.
Under the changes to visa subclass 485, which took effect on March 28, foreign students who graduated with an Australian bachelor’s degree, masters or doctorate, can obtain a visa to remain and work in Australia for between two and four years, depending on their degree — a significant increase on the previous limit of 18 months.
In an already competitive job market, the incentive is to lure high quality overseas students to study in Australia.
“Technically, it’s now much easier for international students to stay in Australia,” said Danny Ong, Multicultural Employment Consultant at Monash University. “But the main concern is that there is now a bigger group of international students competing for work opportunities”.
Remaining in Australia can be a gamble.
“This is a question that international students need to ask: it’s whether I can get a job,” Mr Ong said.
For international students, tuition fees could cost up to $30,000 per year, paid up-front, and application fees can cost almost $2,000.
“A lot of students find it very difficult to deal with parental expectations,” said Mr Ong. And this is affecting the quality of the international student experience.
“They tend to make an association between money and the quality of education. And that influences their interaction with the university,” he said.
Lyndal Partington, careers consultant at the University of NSW, says it is important to learn skills away from the classroom for a holistic education.
“It’s important to help them [international students] develop communication skills, team work skills — soft skills employers look for in graduates,” she said.
“One of the challenges is that they don’t have local work-experience and it’s hard to get their foot in the door. And another challenge is the difference in workplace culture between Australia and their home country,” said Ms Partington.
Under the 485 Temporary Graduate Visa, students can obtain a two-year work visa if they studied in Australia for at least 16 months and have completed either a bachelor’s degree or a masters by course work. Students who completed a masters by research can qualify for a three-year visa, while those who completed a doctorate get four years.
“…We believe that you will find our recommendations supportive of the objectives of the regulatory changes. Several suggest changes in language for purposes of clarity. Others are more substantive, for example, seeking to recognize that secondary school and pathways programs are increasingly important components of international education in Canada. As we noted in our letter last July in response to the notice of proposed changes, a third of international post-secondary students in CBIE’s 2009 national survey said that they had studied either at a Canadian secondary or language school prior to entering a Canadian college or university.
We appreciate CIC’s consultative approach over the past few months. Our Immigration Advisory Committee members took part in meetings in several provinces. CBIE and our partners in the Canadian Consortium for International Education Marketing (CCIEM) appreciated the opportunity to provide views during the meeting held last week in Ottawa.
Moreover the Consortium values our ongoing relationship with CIC. We believe that discussion of issues and possible solutions in our quarterly forum will be even more important once the regulations are finalized and signed into law, and when implementation takes centre stage.
As noted in the attached Comments and Recommendations document, we understand that a Working Group will be established to examine operationalization issues. We would be pleased to contribute our expertise to this effort.
In closing, CBIE values its partnership with CIC and looks forward to continued dialogue in support of our shared goals in international student policy and practice.”
By Kam Rathee
TORONTO: With Canada not being the favourite destination for Indian students going for higher education abroad, Ottawa needs to take some immediate steps to tap this lucrative market for its educational institutions.
Speaking as Vice-‐Chairman of the Canada-‐India Education Council, I would mention the five points that need to be considered for promoting Canada as a destination for Indian students.
On top of the list is the need to improve “Brand Canada” in India. Among the top four or five countries that attract most of Indian students, Canada has always been the weakest brand after the US, UK and Australia.
Now since in the case of the UK, there are problems related to immigration and fees issues and in the case of Australia Indian students have security issues, I think Canada has a golden opportunity to market itself as an educational destination in India. Though the numbers of Indian students coming to Canada has increased over the last two to three years, it still has a long way to go.
Secondly, fees for foreign students are very high in this country. In fact, Canada charges three times more fees from foreign students than local students for imparting the same education and handing out the same diplomas and degrees. In 2010, there were 218,000 foreign students in Canada of which 17,530 came from India – 4,640 as university students and 10,560 as post-‐secondary students. Most of them come from Indian middle class families and find it difficult to meet their expenses. A reduction in fees to two times that charged from local students will induce more Indian students to come to Canada. In fact, educational institutions can make more money if they increase their intake.
Thirdly, Canada’s federal government needs to play a more active role. In Canada, education is a provincial matter with no significant federal role in it. But foreign students pumped more than $ 8 billion into the Canadian economy in 2010 and supported 86,000 jobs. Despite this, for some strange reasons, education is still not seen as an economic activity – an export commodity and a business enterprise for which foreign students pay three times more than local students. The federal government needs to get involved with the provinces and treat education as a business, with relevant support given to this sector from tax and other perspectives in mind. Education, being a trade, should be subject to free trade agreements, particularly the one that is being negotiated with India.
Fourthly, Canada needs to make education employment and profession oriented so that the fruits of it are clear to those seeking to come here. Canada is turning into a service economy and losing its place as a major manufacturing player. Foreign students coming to Canada are forced to leave as they cannot use their education for a career or employment here. Though this is changing on account of the two-‐ year post graduation work visas being available, it is still tough to secure employment for foreign students notwithstanding the fact that they have obtained a Canadian degree or diploma. There needs to be a program under which the institution enrolling students from India should have an obligation to assist them in getting meaningful employment on completion of their education.
BS Reporter, Chennai, March 2011
By 2013, possibility of having the same curriculum for Mathematics, Science, and Commerce in schools across the country is fairly high. According to Dr. D. Purandeswari, Union Minister of State for Human Resources Development, such an idea has been agreed upon by the council of all the State educational departments. The success solely depends on the support from state governments who control over a million schools, in comparison with 11,000 schools under Central Board of Secondary Education. To make the quality of education both affordable and accessible, the government is going to enforce a number of regulatory bills including the Prohibition of Unfair Practices in Technical; Medical Educational Institutions and Universities Bill; and Foreign Universities Bill. As of 2011, the government has allocated 3.8% of the annual public expenditure on education.