Peer learning experience, strategic interaction, exchange of ideas, sharing of culture… all this and much more is possible during international student exchange programme.
No country can afford to remain local by isolating itself from the global environment. And also globalisation can’t be global without reaching to locals in every part of the world.
Education, economics, politics worldwide need to be managed globally through motivation, leadership, knowledge, culture awareness and an understanding of decision-making with an optimum mix of local and global vision.
Against this backdrop it is impossible for any university or educational institution of higher education to bring both international as well as local diversities of different cultures, religions, practices throughout the world into the class room.
Educational institutions/universities realising this problem have opened their doors to the students/faculty from other places and also encourage their students to visit other universities through the International Exchange Programme.
The deficit of knowledge existing in all the institutions of higher learning could be reduced through the efficient use of International Exchange Programmes’ as it has proved to be a catalyst for improving the vision of students significantly in their respective professions.
The primary objectives of these programmes is to build closer people-to-people links between the students, foster mutually beneficial strategic interaction resulting in quality decision-making by the students in the areas of business, economics, management, IT, medical sciences, politics, and research in many areas.
According to the U.S. foreign exchange programme concept — these programmes exist to provide practical training and sharing of history, culture and traditions of the participants’ home country.
Today many universities have International Exchange Programmes to give students as much international exposure as possible.
These exchanges are a part of their whole programme depending upon the nature of their collaborations/engagements with institutions in the other parts of the world.
It also adds to the diversity and peer-learning experience in an altogether different environment.
International Exchange Programmes are not limited to the exchange of students but the exchange of faculty.
Unfortunately, most of the universities do not pay attention to the exchange of faculty members. Professors are the reservoirs of the specialised knowledge imbibed and think- tank of their respective countries.
Therefore, their presence in another country provides an opportunity to the students of the host country to get strategic knowledge in their own country at lesser cost.
However, it is not a substitute for the student exhange programme. But it could add significant value to the students and faculty related to the global orientation.
International Exchange Programmes are a win-win situation for the students, faculty, universities and countries in particular as the knowledge of both sides get enhanced manifold.
More and more institutions of higher education should utilise it. At present Indian universities are taking the initiative in this direction, but at a slow pace. Quality international exchange programmes are the need of the hour.
The writer is Professor & Dean, Manav Rachna International University, Faridabad
Keywords: student exchange programmes