New Delhi: The Delhi University is planning to set up an overseas campus to make the most of the new National Education Policy, its acting vice-chancellor Prof. P.C. Joshi has told ThePrint.
“We want to expand the scope of education across the world. The revised NEP has given a golden opportunity to universities, and we want to make the most of it. We are looking to expand our campus and some of the places under consideration are Dubai (United Arab Emirates), Singapore and Mauritius,” Joshi said.
“We have a strong alumni network based in the south Asian sub-continent, and we wish to channelise all our resources to develop a strong international presence,” he added.
Joshi detailed how, in 2020, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, DU has seen an increase in the number of international students taking up its courses. “I know the pandemic and the resulting shutdown created a lot of problems for educational institutes, but DU saw applications from students across 80 countries,” the acting V-C said.
Upgrading to ‘Institute of Eminence’
According to a previous report by ThePrint, DU is one of several institutions the government has shortlisted under its ‘Institutes of Eminence’ (IoE) scheme, which was launched in 2018 with an aim to put India on the global education map. Currently, Indian presence on global excellence lists is negligible, with even the best universities failing to feature among the top 100.
Then, earlier this month, the University Grants Commission (UGC) gave the green flag to IoEs to set up off-shore campuses, as part of achieving the NEP’s stated intent of “internationalisation of education”.
According to the UGC, an IoE shall be permitted to start a maximum of three off-campus centres in five years, but not more than one in an academic year.
In 2020, as part of its plan to improve facilities to fit the bill as an IoE, DU had started nine new departments, including those on climate change and public health, and lined up the construction of hostels with shopping facilities etc.
The overseas campus proposal is another step in the direction; it’s something other IoEs are also considering.
IIT-Delhi director V. Ramgopal Rao, in an earlier conversation, had spoken to ThePrint about expanding abroad, using the example of the Middle East, and said it would help achieve the goal of 50 per cent gross enrolment ratio (GER) by the year 2040. GER is the ratio of the number of people enrolled in higher education to the total population in the 18-23 age group. According to the All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE), India’s GER was 27.4 per cent for 2017-18.
“Our institutions need to scale up; IITs need to become much larger in terms of their enrolment… It is here that the government is encouraging IITs to have extension branches, to open international centres,” Rao had said.