Pune: The Union Minister for Human Resource Development (HRD) Prakash Javadekar announced 'April 18' as the launch date of the Study in India Program in a bid to step up inflow of foreign students to Indian Universities.
He was speaking through video conferencing at the International Conference on ‘Internationalisation at Home (IaH)’ jointly organised by Symbiosis International (Deemed University) (SIU) and Association of Indian Universities on Friday.
“In its first phase, the programme will be introduced to only 30 countries and around 160 institutes across the country will offer this programme. India will strive to become the education hub of the world to attract students from across the globe,” Javadekar said.
Stating that six lakh Indian students leave India to study abroad and only about 4,000 students from across the world come to India to pursue higher education, the Minister said that this study abroad initiative along with the Ministry of External Affairs is an effort to boost internationalisation.
Javadekar further said that the government’s first priority is to nurture the school system and improve the teaching and learning processes, particularly in schools and colleges in rural India.
Quoting a recent World Bank report, which states that Indian students have the capacity to learn relatively faster than students from other countries like Russia and Korea, he said, “The school system in India has not been able to build on this advantage. Since the 90s, the Indian school system has witnessed a steady decline."
Guest of Honour at the inaugural ceremony was Prof. PB Sharma, President, AIU. Other dignitaries present were Dr SB Mujumdar, Chancellor, SIU, Dr Vidya Yeravdekar, Pro-Chancellor, SIU and Dr Rajani Gupte, Vice Chancellor, SIU.
Prof. Hans de Wit, Director, Centre for International Higher Education (CIHE), Lynch School of Education, Boston College, in his keynote address, said, “Internationalisation was not about recruiting international students for money, and it was not a means in itself because an institution wants to move up in rankings but to improve the quality of education, research, and contribute to society. This, he said was the essential understanding of internationalisation. It was important to bring the abroad and local together in IaH.”
The conference was attended by experts on internationalisation and several Vice Chancellors and heads of the institutions across the world. In a curtain raiser, roundtable discussions held the previous evening, luminaries on internationalisation and other experts focused on ‘Can Indian Universities climb the world rankings by focusing on IaH?’ and ‘Impact of IaH on quality of Teaching Learning, research, and academic reputation’.