Monday, March 29, 2010
Do we need the foreign universities?
So, the foreign universities are going to be here soon. Much has already been written about the pros and cons of having prestigious foreign universities right here in India.
Those who are for it feel it is a good initiative as children get an exposure to education of international standards without having to step out of their country and that even financially it could turn out to be an affordable proposition. For those who cannot send their children to far away countries due to various reasons it would be a blessing.
But those who are against this move argue that we do not need more universities when there is already so much investment in universities already in business and that a better strategy would be to invest to make existing infrastructure better. And how would bringing in foreign universities increase the competitive spirit among our universities?
And what about affordability? The foreign universities definitely are not charitable institutions and are here to make money just like any other multinational company and hence more often than not it will be only certain sections of the society who will be able to afford this. Thereby, a student coming from middle to lower economic strata will not enjoy the benefits of getting education from these universities. Instead they feel that improving the infrastructure and quality of education in the existing institutes will more than suffice.
Initially the aim was to complete one's education and look for good jobs abroad. Next it was to complete studies and go abroad to do higher studies in order to get good jobs was the trend. Last I heard was parents wanting their children to go abroad and study right after their pre-university. But now appears that the universities themselves are going to be set up here.
I wonder if it will make any difference to our existing education system at all? Will children from all strata benefit from this? Will it be just another way of money making by people with vested interest? Will it increase the quality of education as the proponents are thinking? Time alone will give answers to all these questions.
Do you as parents of children who in the next couple of years would be making plans to study in foreign universities think this to be a step towards positive change in our education system? Please do write as to what your thoughts and views regarding this are.