India to create 20 world-class universities

Source: Study International via Academica

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.

PSE’s Reaction to Budget Largely Positive

Source: CICan News Release via Academica

Reactions to Canada’s budget from the PSE sector were mainly positive, with some exceptions. Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) applauded federal investment in research infrastructure and in programs designed to foster close relationships between business and industry associations and PSE partners. Polytechnics Canada, meanwhile, welcomed the expanded adoption of the Blue Seal Certification program and Canada’s investment in a one-stop national labour market information portal. Universities Canada (formerly the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada) said that Canada’s $1.33 M investment in research infrastructure will yield significant benefits for Canadian researchers. Jonathan Champagne, Executive Director of the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) said that his organization was “extremely pleased” with the budget’s commitments to student aid. However, the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) said that by making loans more accessible, the budget will lead to greater student debt.

Canada’s Budget Focuses on Alignment Between PSE, Labour Market Need

Source: Budget 2015 via Academica

Canada unveiled its new federal budget on Tuesday. The budget’s highlights include $1.33 B over 6 years, beginning in 2017–18, for the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI); $105 M over 5 years, beginning in 2015–16, for CANARIE; an additional $46 M per year, beginning in 2016–17, of targeted funding for Canada’s granting councils; $119.2 M over 2 years, beginning in 2015–16, for the National Research Council’s industry-partnered research and development activities; a one-time investment of $65 M for business and industry associations to work with PSE institutions to align curricula with employer needs; and $56.4 M over 4 years, beginning in 2016–17, to Mitacs for graduate-level industrial research and development internships. The budget will also reduce the expected parental contribution and remove the penalty for in-study student income for the Canada Student Loans assessment process. Furthermore, the budget provides for the expanded adoption of the Blue Seal Certification program and the creation of a one-stop national labour market information portal.

Alberta, Manitoba Budgets Offer Small PSE Increases

Source: Edmonton Journal via Academica | March 6, 2014

The Alberta government last week tabled its 2014 budget, which restores $50 million in funding to colleges and universities under the Access to the Future Fund. The fund was frozen last year, when the government announced a $147-million cut to the PSE operating budget. The budget also maintains the separate $50 million it put back into the system in November to ease budget restraints. The government says it will add another $32 million for enrolment in targeted programs, which are not yet specified. The Manitoba government also tabled its 2014 budget last week, and has committed base grant increases of 2.5% to universities and 2% to colleges. Manitoba’s budget will also establish a Research Manitoba initiative “to target funding to strategic priorities under the guidance of researchers and entrepreneurs.”

TCS Insights: The province of Alberta will increase funding to the operating budgets of post-secondary institutions in 2014 as well as specific programs. Manitoba will also increase financial contributions to colleges and universities while farthing their commitment to research programs. These acts should not only benefit institutions but their students as well.

Federal Budget Includes Funding for Research, Internships, Training

Source: Government of Canada Release | February 11, 2014

Canada’s 2014 federal budget tabled on Tuesday includes a new Canada First Research Excellence Fund, which will provide $1.5 billion over 10 years for university research, starting with $50 million in 2015-16. Universities and PSE associations from across the country are welcoming the new funding. The budget also pledges an increase of $46 million annually to research granting agencies such as the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, and $40 million to support up to 3,000 full-time internships for PSE graduates in high-demand fields. The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) is applauding the budget measure that will see the value of a student-owned vehicle removed from the student loan eligibility consideration, which will add an estimated $8 million in aid for students each year. The budget also includes a Canada Apprentice Loan that provides apprentices registered in Red Seal trades access to over $100 million in interest-free loans each year, and the Flexibility and Innovation in Apprenticeship Technical Training pilot project that will expand the use of innovative approaches for apprenticeship technical training. The government has also pledged $10 million over 2 years for colleges to do social-innovation research with community organizations.

TCS Insights: The Canadian government has ensured that post-secondary institutions will have the opportunity to make significant strides for years to come. Students entering Canadian educational facilities, from abroad or domestically, will be able to benefit from increased financial aid as well as funding for research grants and apprenticeships.

Public-private partnership catalyzes educational excellence, Chennai, March 2011

As per the 11th educational budgetary plan, Government of India is working on improving the education sector by increasing the allocation by 19 percent of the gross budgetary support. A conference was held on “Education for Sustainable Development” organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

Dr Purandeswari, Honorable Minister of State of the Human Resources Development, Government of India, addressed the audience at the conference. She stated that the education system should respond to the changing needs of the stakeholders and focus on quality of education and the faculty, in addition to infrastructure and curriculum. She urged the state governments to increase funding to the Universities and also enact the Right to Education Act to ensure a holistic development in the education sector.

The Minister mentioned that it is crucial for the private sector to join hands with the Government to provide on-the-job experience for students to develop their vocational skills and employability.

Mr Arun Maira, Member of Planning Commission, Government of India emphasized on three key elements to make education relevant to current scenario which include “innovation in delivery, new methods of learning and job-oriented education.” He stated that it is critical for the education system to align with the emerging economic trends and employment potential.

Mr S Gopalakrishnan, Chairman of CII Southern Region and Managing Director of Infosys Technologies Ltd, stated that “education should be an enabler of sustainable development and aim at developing people with right attitudes, skills and knowledge.” He also mentioned that technology delivery systems should be used in education systems, which would pave a way to open learning platforms reaching a large section of people.

Mr C R Swaminathan, Conference Chairman & Chief Executive of PSG Industrial Institute stated that realigning education to promote awareness, attitudes and skills, changes in the work systems and the use of technology will lead to sustainable development.

In her welcome address, Ms Nandini Rangaswamy, Chairperson of CII Tamil Nadu & Managing Director of Chandra Group emphasized the need to strengthen skills training capabilities to meet the ever growing demand for skilled labor. Furthermore, she added that this could only be achieved through partnerships involving academia, industry and government.

The vote of thanks was proposed by Mr N K Ranganath, Vice Chairman of CII Tamil Nadu & Managing Director of Grundfos Pumps India Pvt Ltd.