Viewpoint Education

Importance of international collaborations

There are clear benefits to collaborations between foreign and Indian educational institutions.   | Photo Credit: Pixabay

The New Education Policy (NEP) 2020 broadly hinged on setting right two key anomalies in India’s existing education system. The first is flexibility in choice of subjects, course duration, course structure, and so on. The second is absorbing and assimilating world-class foreign resources and institutions into the Indian mainstream.

Pros and cons

A prudent education administrator, however, will recognise that a sudden leap into uncharted territory might prove counterproductive. The transition will have to be managed well for India to reap the rewards for years to come. Therein lies the importance of the growing trend of collaborations between foreign and domestic Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).

There are, of course, clear benefits to such collaborations, ranging from Indian students studying contemporary and globally recognised courses from the comforts of a home environment, widening the reach of such courses and world-class pedagogy at almost a quarter of the costs to getting students access to cutting-edge virtual learning tools. But it is the larger value addition to the education system that is more exciting.

For one, it provides foreign institutions with a cost-effective method to study the new market and accordingly bring in modifications to their course curricula if required.

Another huge gain is the enhancement in pedagogical skills for the Indian teaching community. The more comprehensive collaborations will not only see Indian faculty conducting such courses but also being trained and certified for it.

Foreign institutions had flexibility woven in to their curricula long ago. Therefore, the subject combinations that they provide are in keeping with current career requirements. So, besides opening up a world of opportunities, this also helps set the base for what the NEP envisions.

Impact on students

It is also important to note the effect that such collaborations can have on a student’s career. Unique opportunities such as transfers and access to excellent Master’s programmes provides them a headstart.

As they progress, such application-oriented education not only results in them adding substantial value to their work, but also helps them grow faster.

While opting for a collaborative course, it is important to gain the right information on aspects like track record and credibility of the foreign partner, its level of active involvement in day-to-day discourse and exam process, the admission process, course design and duration, student and faculty exchange programmes, industry exposure provided, and success of the alumni network.

One key limitation may be the acceptance of such courses in local government-related careers but, in most cases, this will be a mere technicality that can be easily overcome by opting for a simultaneous course that is accepted. However, the knowledge and exposure gained from such collaborative courses remain and can never be taken away.

The writer is Associate Director, Indian School of Business & Finance (ISBF), New Delhi

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Printable version | Mar 8, 2021 3:39:56 PM |

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