With the establishment of four new public universities and six private universities in the last year, students are expected to flock to the state.
All universities applied for autonomy but some thought they were just sending data.
The Indian government is abdicating its constitutional responsibilities by attacking public universities.
Source: University World News
100 of India’s top educational institutions are vying to be named ‘institutions of eminence’ as part of the country’s higher education reforms to upgrade around 20 institutions into ‘world-class’ universities.
Source: Times of India
The latest ranking of BRICS universities brought a mixed bag of news for India.
Source: Study International
Indian students are flocking to Canadian colleges and universities like never before as the US grows more unwelcoming to foreign nationals.
Source: Times of India
PM Modi recently claimed measures like the granting of central status were “a thing of the past”.
Reports continue of increasing foreign student numbers at Canadian universities for the coming academic year.
Source: The Economic Times
No cash fee payment in colleges, varsities anymore.
More than nine out of ten university graduates from Ontario find well-paying jobs within two years of graduating, according to a new study conducted for the province’s Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development. The survey-based study showed that university graduates in full-time jobs earn an average salary of almost $42K six months after graduation, and an average of more than $49K after two years. The report also found that employment rates and earnings for university undergraduates were higher than they were for any other level of education. A large majority of recent graduates in full-time jobs also said that their work was related to the skills they developed in their program of study. “In a complex and ever-changing world, Ontario’s universities are helping to build a brighter future for graduates, their families and communities, and the province,” said Council of Ontario Universities President David Lindsay.
The Indian government reportedly plans to turn 20 universities into world-class institutions. Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced in February that “enabling regulatory architecture will be provided to 10 public and 10 private institutions to emerge as world-class teaching and research institutions” and that a not-for-profit Higher Education Financing Agency would be created to “leverage funds from the market” to support improvements. While the announcements were “encouraging” to Boston College Center for International Higher Education Director Philip Altbach, he dubbed the plan a “tall order” and expressed wariness due to a historical lack of success in India’s previous efforts to achieve similar goals.
The University Grants Commission (UGC), the regulatory body for higher education in India, has published a list of 21 “fake” universities operating in that country. Indian law prohibits any institution from describing itself as a “university” without obtaining the proper government permission. Eight of the 21 “universities” are in Uttar Pradesh, with a further six in Delhi. While the UGC’s decree prohibits these institutions from continuing to grant degrees, it is worth noting that many of the institutions on the new list were also on an earlier list.
Data shared on the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario’s (HEQCO’s) It’s Not Academic blog sheds light on the growth in international enrolment at Ontario’s publicly funded colleges and universities. The data show that in the past decade, the rate of growth in international enrolment at colleges has generally exceeded the rate of growth at universities. The growth in college enrolment spiked in 2010; HEQCO attributes this to the 2009 introduction of the Student Partners Program, which expedites the Canadian study permit process for citizens of India and China.
Preliminary data released yesterday show Ontario college enrolments are at their highest levels ever, with a nearly 5% increase in first-year, full-time programs over last year. Enrolment in first-year programs has increased to over 125,000 students, with more than 220,000 students enrolled in all programs. “This is a strong indicator of the appetite that exists for the career-focused programs at the colleges,” said Linda Franklin, the president and CEO of Colleges Ontario. Ontario’s universities are also experiencing strong application numbers, although the number of secondary student applications has dipped slightly, to 89,272 from 92,554 last year. However, the number of non-high school applicants has increased drastically, by 10.5% over last year, and 35% since 2004. Ontario announced last week a new transfer database to make it easier for students transferring among Ontario’s colleges and universities.
TCS Insights: The province of Ontario is expanding as a centre for higher learning in Canada. Colleges offering programs aimed to get students into the workplace are experiencing record popularity while mature students returning to school are applying to universities more than before. Through making the process of transferring credits between institutions easier, students are less likely to be restricted to studying in only one part of the province.
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.
The Canadian government has announced a $63-million boost for research infrastructure under the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s John R. Evans Leaders Fund. Currently, the fund is contributing to research equipment, laboratories and tools at over 250 facilities at 37 universities across Canada. “Our government believes significant investments in Canadian research are essential to sparking innovation, creating economic prosperity and improving the lives of Canadians,” says Minister of State (Science and Technology) Greg Rickford.
TCS Insights: The CFI awarded $48.4 million through their John R. Evans Leaders Fund in order to help Canadian universities attract top available research talent. This increase in funding will enable researchers, such as Ryan D’Arcy of Simon Fraser University, make use of portable technologies at sporting events, hospitals and homes.
Canadian Minister of State (Science and Technology) Greg Rickford today announced that the most recent round of Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) funding will provide $43 million to 77 research teams at universities across the country. The funding will go towards 2 grants: the Strategic Network Grants and the Strategic Project Grants. The funds will help researchers work with companies and other organizations on long-term projects to address industrial and societal challenges.
TCS Insights: The Canadian government aims to use these grants to increase research and training in areas that influence the Canadian economy and environment over the next decade. Additionally, this funding will go towards research that involves interdisciplinary collaboration between researchers and institutions such as solar power and cloud-based computing projects.
Pune: In a bid to get rid of random disbursement, the government is planning a selective approach in allocating research support for academic institutions. This will also ensure that resources for research are used to the best advantage.
This has been one of the mandates given to the special committee set up by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) to improve research performance of academic institutions.
The 18-member committee, headed by chairman of Centre’s Department of Biotechnology, has former heads of UGC, AICTE, and NCL. The heads of NAAC, NBA, IISc Bangalore and JNU are among other educational establishments.
“As India moves in the global knowledge economy, building awareness about critical global rankings, research evaluation and targeted and competitive research funding would be central to the country’s strategy to improve its research capacity and performance. The government has decided to constitute a committee to drive up the research performance of academic Institutions,” a MHRD notification reads.
Review of existing arrangements for funding of research, both core funding of research facilities, infrastructure and project funding in academic institutions, to identify gaps and create a framework to evaluate research and rankings are some of the key objectives the government has laid down before the committee.
TCS Insights: In a bid to eliminate random disbursement, the Indian Government is planning a selective approach in allocating research support for academic institutions. The move is also expected to ensure that resources for research are used to the best advantage.
This is a progressive move by the Indian government towards more application based research and from traditional research focused on publishing papers in journals. This approach has the potential to create opportunities for Canadian academic institutions to focus on high quality research exchange programs with Indian counterparts.
The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service’s education team has connections with a range of academic institutions in India across the areas of social science, physical science, engineering, technology, management, finance etc. and can facilitate discussions.
Source: US News
One Sunday in late August 2007, my college swim coach sat down with me and six of my teammates. Our American peers had been dismissed and we were left, a group of international students representing Sweden, South Africa, Croatia, and France.
“This first week of classes, you have a special assignment,” he said. “After each class you must introduce yourself to your professors. Then you must come up with a question, go to their office hours and ask it. It can be a question you already know the answer to; it doesn’t matter, just go anyway.”
It was the evening before the first day of classes. I was a 19-year-old freshman at Limestone College, a small college in rural South Carolina, and was strongly considering not completing my coach’s seemingly pointless assignment.
Later I realized it was the most important piece of advice anyone gave me during my years in college.
Most college professors share a number of attributes. They enjoy learning, which is why they chose a profession allowing them to read and research. They enjoy being around young people, which is why they chose to work in a college environment. And they, too, have been young at some point.
As an international student you bring to the table knowledge and points of view that can differ widely from those of your American peers. For a professor, usually an expert in his or her given field, this is extremely intellectually stimulating. Professors also, like any teacher, love to share their expertise.
Being able to carry an intelligent conversation with your professor on the subject he or she teaches will therefore elevate you to a level far above that of the average student. Seeking help outside of class doesn’t show that you are unintelligent, but that you are a motivated student.
So when you eventually fall behind, miss a class or fail to hand in an assignment, the relationship you have established with your professor will become invaluable. Your occasional tardiness can always slip by, because you have already proved that you are a good student, right?
U.S. colleges often have dozens of scholarship programs funded by various earmarked endowments, and more often than not professors make up most of the committees selecting the recipients. The hours you spend getting to know your professor may end up being rather lucrative.
And although you probably won’t be thinking about graduate school during your first week of classes, one day you just may, and already knowing whom you can ask for a letter of recommendation will lift a significant weight off of your shoulders.
Last but not least, most professors are genuinely nice and interesting people, which itself is enough reason to reach out to them.
As for me, I ended up doing what my coach told me. It resulted in not only an additional academic scholarship, an academic award, solid grades and a number of grad school recommendations, but also friendships that have lasted to this day.
It all began with an outstretched hand and a “hello.”
Anders Melin, from Sweden, is a former collegiate swimmer for Limestone College and the University of Missouri, where he earned an undergraduate degree in finance. He is now pursuing a master’s degree in journalism at New York University.
Source: India Blooms News Service via Indian Economic Business News
Over 35 leading universities from the UK, U.S. and Canada would come together to woo Indian students to their countries for higher education. IDP Education, the world’s leading student placement service provider and co-owner of IELTS examination, hosted the second edition of its multi-destination education fair in India from Feb 15. Spread over a period of two weeks, the fair will kick-start from Chandigarh and conclude in the southern city of Kochi on Feb 25. The fair will see over 40 universities, and colleges from the UK, U.S. and Canada hold dialogue with Indian students aspiring to pursue higher education in internationally acclaimed institutions. IDP’s Education Fair will offer students the opportunity to explore under one roof, various study options available across the three western nations. The fair will be held in the cities of Chandigarh, Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore and Kochi. Close to 80,000 Indian students go abroad for higher studies every year to the five English speaking countries, namely Australia, UK, U.S, Canada and New Zealand.
By Sparsh Sharma
With post-degree job opportunities on the decline in much of the developed world, several visa restrictions in the UK, comparatively higher cost of education in the USA, and racist attacks in Australia, Canada is fast emerging as an upcoming destination for many Indian students wanting to study abroad. In several United Nations’ surveys, Canada has been found to be one of the best places to live in the world with low crime rates, high life expectancy, and better access to education.
Jugnu Dutta, an international education consultant from Navi Mumbai, agrees with the trend. “A degree/diploma from a Canadian institution is globally recognised. Canadian immigration process has been relaxed for international students, giving the students an opportunity to look for jobs and eventually apply for Permanent Residency (PR). International students in Canada are permitted to work part time for 20 hours/week (first six months in campus and off campus thereafter). During vacations, international students can work up to 40 hours. Average pay for part time job is C$8 – C$11 per hour. All these factors have made the country a much-preferred destination for Indian students,” says Dutta.
Also, since Canada is one of the most multicultural and diverse countries in the world and accepts people from different backgrounds, international students acclimatise better in Canada than in other countries, according to Imran Kanga, associate director, student services and international relations, Schulich School of Business, York University, Toronto. “Traditionally, the UK, USA and Australia were prime destinations for students. At the moment, the US economy is not doing very well and so international students are having trouble finding jobs, especially because in the US, companies have to sponsor visas for students. The UK has put breaks on immigration altogether and students have to leave the country once they are done with their studies. Canada on the other hand welcomes international students from all over the world, as is evident by the work permit incentive that is automatically given to students post their graduation, which allows them to stay in Canada for up to three years after completing their studies. The Canadian economy is very stable, and our financial system is sound. This means that students are not struggling to find work after they graduate, as the market is receptive. This helps because students are able to work and pay back their student loans faster,” he says.
The students get a chance to mix and learn from a diverse peer groups consisting of students from all over the world and from varying work and educational backgrounds. Canada is a very safe place, the people are extremely warm, friendly and students, who go to Canada, have very enriching experiences.
Sharath Janakiraman, current MBA student at Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, says, “Despite the rigour, it is not ‘all work and no play’. Social events, exhilarating post-exam celebration parties and various sports activities have been able to add enough fun to my MBA experience. Although this was the first time I am living outside India for such a long time, the warmth of people in Toronto always makes me feel at home.”
The number of international students has increased over the years, in Canada. A trend confirmed by counselors and universities. “Along with the Canadian students, our complement of international students has also grown, from 22 countries represented six years ago, to more than 600 students and 75 countries on campus today,” tells Paul Marck, media relations coordinator, University of British Columbia, Okanagan. Even at universities like Thompson Rivers University, situated in Kamloops (an interior area of British Columbia province), there are international students from more than 80 countries.
Besides many part time jobs available for students, many colleges and universities offer paid or unpaid internships for a few months during the length of the program, especially in post-graduate programs like MBA.
Sheldon Dookeran, assistant director, full time MBA admissions, Rotman School of Management, says, “Students who complete a full time program of study longer than eight months and less than two years can receive a work permit lasting just as long as the program lasted. Better yet, students who complete a program of two years or more in length, such as an undergraduate degree or an MBA, can receive a three-year work permit, within which time they can then apply for PR, if they choose to stay longer. Canada is known for its quality education, cultural comfort and job opportunities. There are 31 student groups and clubs on our campus. Rotman’s strategic location in Toronto and recruiter reputation contributes to its 88% internship rate and 85% employment rate within three months of graduation.”
Many universities and community colleges accept applications on a rolling basis. This means that the admissions committee continues to make offers of admission to qualified applicants until a particular intake reaches its enrolment capacity. However, international students are advised to apply early as admission and scholarships grow more competitive around the second or third deadlines. The application deadline for many programs starting in September (fall) intake starts from the first week of February. At Thompson Rivers University, it starts from mid-May for the September intake. Schulich offers an India MBA program, too, which starts in January and the application deadline for which is November 1.
“All Canadian universities/community colleges have intakes in August/September. Some also provide January/February or May intakes. Few community colleges have three to four intakes in a year. The certificates are usually categorised into certificates, diploma, advanced diploma, bachelor’s degree, post graduate diploma, post graduate certificates, master’s degree and Ph.D. Some of the prominent courses at the graduate level are MBA, PGD in management, MS and LLB while at the undergraduate level; it is the Bachelor of Administrative Studies or Bachelor of Engineering,” adds Dutta.
Unlike India, Canada doesn’t have a central education system and hence is under the jurisdiction of each province. All major universities in Canada are publicly funded whereas the private universities are relatively new and usually offer undergraduate courses. There are approximately 92 universities and 175 community colleges in Canada.
Some popular universities among international students:
- University of Toronto
- York University
- McGill University
- University of Alberta
- University of British Columbia
- Queen’s University
Some popular community colleges among international students:
- George Brown
Cost of education – The fees ranges from CAD6,000 to CAD30,000 per year. Usually the universities are more expensive than community colleges. Getting admission in a university is comparatively more difficult than community colleges. Also, most universities accept a minimum of 16 years of education while most community colleges accept 15 years of education.
Canadian visa – The earliest a student can apply for student visa is six months before the start date of the course. The processing time for student visa ranges from 15 days to 30 days for Student Partners Program (SPP) or regular visa respectively. It is recommended to apply for student visa as soon as the student gets the unconditional offer from the university/community college.
Source: The Indian Express via PwC – EdLive
Academics have expressed reservations over the special exemptions granted to government-run institutions in the new regulations released by the University Grants Commission (UGC) with regard to collaborations with foreign universities. The UGC recently approved regulations through which foreign universities could venture into India and collaborate with Indian institutions. While this was widely seen as a backdoor measure, given the fact that opposition pressure in Parliament had kept the Foreign Universities Bill out of light, the governing body provided wide-ranging prescriptions for such partnerships. According to the regulations, only institutions with an ‘A’ rating from the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) would be eligible for such an agreement. The institutions must also have at least five years of experience in providing post- graduate courses. However, government- run institutions, both at the state and central levels, have been exempted from both these clauses.
Chairman of the Board of Governors at IIT-Kanpur, M Anandakrishnan, said that the regulations, which were yet to be notified, would ensure that only respectable institutions could get into such collaborations. However, he opined that the clause exempting the government-run institutions from such minimum qualification, such as NAAC accreditation, should be dropped. “There is still scope for change as the norms are yet to be notified. Government institutions should not be excluded from such quality norms,” he pointed out.