With the announcement of National Education Policy (NEP) back in 2020, India took a bold step to transform the highly inward approach it carried towards the higher education space. There is a huge potential to take the Indian higher education system to the international levels. Post the announcement of NEP, UGC took a plunge to put in place a legislative framework for the internationalisation of education.
While the UGC is in the process of swiftly preparing statutory regulations for knowledge collaborations between Indian and foreign educational institutions, it is important that the government encourages and incentivises private and foreign universities to
- facilitate cross-border academic collaborations
- facilitate award of joint degrees, dual degrees, and twinning programmes that would get regulatory recognition under the Indian academic regulatory bodies
The majority of Indian students pursue studies in the STEM arena in foreign universities. As online has become an indispensable medium for a global classroom or otherwise, it is imperative to intensify the knowledge collaborations between Indian and international educational institutions to expand the access and reach of quality international education. This support is important to promote research and development, especially in the areas where the countries share synergies.
Collaborations to offer joint degrees, dual degrees, and twinning programmes will also improve the academic curriculum and faculty exchange programmes in innovations, AI, biotechnology, healthcare, and more areas, which can in turn help solve real-world problems.
Given that the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 includes several reform proposals, ranging from building the overall personality of students by strengthening infrastructure for open and distance learning, online education, to funding for private research and set up of the National Research Foundation (NRF) to boost research work in the country, implementing them within a specified timeline and sufficient budget allocation will help see the transformation in reality.
Things must take shape faster; India’s education system should be ready to sync with the global aspirations and NEP 2020 allows for such an alignment. Just that a mechanism of checks and balances has to be placed to monitor the progress of the flow of funds and subsequent results.