Webinar: NEP 2020: Internationalisation and the Way Forward

By Emma Lynch

On Wednesday 10th September, UKIBC held a webinar in partnership with Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) on India’s new National Education Policy, titled: ‘NEP 2020: Internationalisation and the way forward’.

The webinar was organised in the backdrop to the new National Education Policy in India which was approved by the Union Cabinet in July 2020.

In her welcome remarks, Ms Shobha Mishra Ghosh, Asst Secretary General, FICCI, outlined the three-pronged approach of the NEP, which rightly focussed on internationalisation, namely internationalisation at home (India) of curricula and learning; transglobal alliances; and export of higher education services.

We then heard from speakers across the UK-India corridor give their views on the NEP and how to ensure its framework is implemented for the better of India’s higher education. Some of their key remarks are outlined below:

Opening Remarks from Dr Vidya Yeravdekar, Chair-FICCI Higher Education Committee and Pro Chancellor, Symbiosis International university, touched on the desire for internationalisation among many Indian universities and indeed across the world.

Dr Vidya noted an exciting new initiative that she and Dr Pankaj Mittal are spearheading – the ‘Indian Network for the Internationalisation of Education’ to bring together all those Indian universities who are keen to internationalise but don’t necessarily know how to go about it. They will work with mentors and peers to gain confidence and familiarise themselves with the correct approach. Foreign partners will also be welcome to join to share knowledge and best practices as it aims to be a very collaborative and interdependent community where members learn from each other. UKIBC was also invited to join this network.

Prof N V Varghese, Vice Chancellor, National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration, spoke of the four forms of mobility: programmes, institutions, teachers and students. Teachers and students have moved but courses and institutions have remained. This is changing – mobility of institutions and programmes are increasingly opening. Two important issues arise: whether Indian education needs to be internationalised or higher education in India should be international. Globally, only 2 percent of students move abroad for education. But in India, it is less than 1 percent. Bringing courses and new ways of learning to India can thus open up opportunities for the 99 percent that do not move.

The new NEP provides opportunity in all four forms. Branch campuses is one of the major dimensions. Other important developments include higher education qualification framework which will define the competencies and skills of graduates.

Dr Daniel Rycroft, Chair of the India Dialogue, University of East Anglia, considered the social ethos that underpins the new NEP. At the heart of the policy document is a reinvigoration of India’s constitutional values and commitment to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is vital that higher education providers remain relevant and accessible to society, helping to instil values and citizenship. UEA through its intersectoral partnerships with UKIBC and others have been working hard to develop this framework of university social responsibility with holistic thinking and collective action, increasing the commitment of universities to USR.

Dr Pankaj Mittal, Secretary General, Association of Indian Universities, discussed four areas where the NEP supports internationalisation:

  • Top 100 ranked universities will be allowed to set up campuses in India.
  • Indian universities will be supported to set up campuses abroad.
  • Credits of foreign universiites will count towards Indian students’ education in India.
  • Indian universities to establish international offices.

To carry these out, the concept of an ‘Academic Bank of Credit’ (ABC) was put forward as a viable solution – the ABC would be a place for students to deposit credits acquired by attending and taking specific courses and programmes from multiple universities (both Indian and foreign) – whether online or in person.

Mr Jayant Krishna, Group CEO, UKIBC discussed his thoughts on the NEP, which is a positive step but with more to do in the implementation and certain policy measures. With 3.7 crore (3.7 million) students in India at undergraduate and postgraduate level at any point in time, India represents a huge market. Of the global top 100, 20 universities are from the UK. The UKIBC is working with several of these to support their India footprint through strategic advisory and advocacy work, working on research collaborations and employability among other areas.

However, the Top 100 framework ignores discipline ranking and other important factors. By considering India’s needs, India can handpick foreign universities that can best support India’s education and economy, for example in healthcare or engineering. Hence, the UKIBC recommends that India looks beyond the Top 100 rankings when considering which universities can offer courses in country.

Further improvement would be fostered by mutual recognition agreement of degrees between the UK and India, as India has with France. The Government might not recognise students in India who have received Masters’ degrees from the UK, whereas the private sector widely does, and this could be an unnecessary challenge to employability and efficiency in the education and labour markets.

You can watch the webinar in full using the link below:

 

For more information, contact Tara Panjwani at tara.panjwani@ukibc.com.


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