Every year, India has an outflow of $16 billion as about 2.5 lakh Indian students leave for foreign shores to pursue higher education. At the same time, Indian universities and colleges attract just 42,000 international students, as against the US with nearly 10.5 lakh students, UK with five lakh and China with about four lakh. Even France and Australia have about three lakh foreign students each.
There’s an urgent need to reinvent India as a study destination for international students as it has the potential to bring in an estimated $20 billion to the country’s cash-strapped universities and colleges. Not just that, to attract talent from abroad, Indian institutes would have to improve their act and upgrade their infrastructure – which would benefit its own students too.
To kick start a movement that can enable India to shape up an international student magnet, an International Conclave on India: The Global Destination for Higher Education will be held at New Delhi on Saturday, June 10, 2017. It will be organised by IIT Kharagpur Alumni Foundation (India) in collaboration with PanIIT Alumni India.
HRD minister Prakash Javadekar will be the chief guest and minister of state Mahendra Nath Pandey the guest of honour. Commerce and industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman has been invited as the chief guest for the valedictory session, the conclave organisers have said.
The objective of the conclave is to “usher in an atmosphere of excellence and quality in our top 10% institutes of higher learning so that they start attracting the best students from all over the world and thus India becomes once again a global destination for higher Learning. One of the Key objectives of this conclave is to put in place a joint task force of the MHRD and educational Institutions to achieve this goal,” the organisers said.
The conclave will have about four sessions with panels including IIT, NIT, IIM and IIIT directors; presidents and deans of global universities; top government officials, eminent professionals and educational experts. The first session will be on challenges and opportunities for government institutions. The second session will focus on contribution of private sector institutions and future plans. Session three and four will be on experiences of global institutions and national policy and Initiatives for Indian institutions, respectively.
The organisers aim to come up with an action plan after the conclave for the top 10% Indian universities and colleges to attract foreign students to India. “An extensive collective outreach programme will have to be launched to achieve this cherished goal. In this regard, Indians settled abroad can play a very effective role so that India becomes a global destination for higher education,” the organisers add.