New Delhi: The central government wants top higher education institutes like the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and others to set up campuses abroad.
This is a part of the plan laid down in the new National Education Policy (NEP), which calls for internationalisation of education. According to the NEP, foreign universities will be allowed to set up campuses in India and top Indian institutes will be allowed to set up branches outside the country.
In an interview with ThePrint, IIT Delhi director V. Ramgopal Rao said that discussion in this regard has already started with top institutes such as the IITs.
“The NEP also talks about this (internationalisation of education)… while they are inviting international universities to come and set up campuses here, they are also encouraging our leading institutions to go out and start campuses elsewhere. In fact, MHRD (ministry of education) has already written to us, asking ‘are you interested in taking this up and how do you plan to do that’,” said Rao.
“One of the reasons why our international rankings don’t look so good is because our footprint is so small. It’s all limited to India. We do not have any presence outside India, our students, faculty, staff are all Indian,” he added.
Rao explained this with an example. “If IIT Delhi sets up a campus in the Middle East, we will have students and faculty from there and our footprint will increase.”
‘Will help in achieving a GER of 50%’
Rao said that internationalisation and branching out will also help in increasing enrolment, which will help the government achieve their goal of 50 per cent Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) by the year 2040. The NEP calls for achieving a GER of 50 per cent by 2040.
“Doubling the GER would mean almost doubling the enrolment in higher education institutions. 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,” he added.
According to the NEP 2020, “High performing Indian universities will be encouraged to set up campuses in other countries, and similarly, selected universities e.g., those from among the top 100 universities in the world, will be facilitated to operate in India.”
Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ had also mentioned this at the vice chancellors’ conference organised by the Association of Indian Universities on 17 August.
“We will invite the world’s top 100 universities to India and collaborate with them. Similarly, our best institutions will also be able to set campuses abroad,” he had said.