Educationists from 20 leading Indian private universities gathered at the House of Commons for an awards ceremony to fly India’s flag in the global higher education market, and announced plans to create an ‘education hub’ on the lines of medical tourism and IT services.
The awards were given by a consortium of Indian private universities called SkillTree, after an ‘audit’ of courses in the universities over two years. Out of a total of 674 universities in India, 183 were private, educationists at the event said.
Sushma Paul Berlia, chancellor of Apeejay Stya University, told HT: “The Narendra Modi government should help private universities tap global higher education markets in the same way the British Council helps British universities recruit international students. There is so much that we can offer to international students”.
India, she said, may not figure in major global university rankings, but there were several universities and institutes that offer ‘very good education’ to students from developing countries and to people of Indian origin in countries such as Britain and the US.
The awards ceremony was followed by a party at Madame Tussauds, where leading Indian and Indian-origin people such as Lord Swraj Paul, Keith Vaz, Navnit Dholakia, Dame Asha Khemka and Baroness Verma joined the Indian private universities’ push for a global presence.
According to Berlia, higher education could be a net foreign exchange earner for India at a time when a major increase in fees was prompting students in western countries to look at alternatives for cheaper but valuable education. Studying in India would help prepare them for jobs in a major global market, she said.
Shekhar A Bhattacharjee, founder of SkillTree, said: “India is a great destination with great institutions; India’s higher education system has witnessed tremendous growth in recent times. ‘SkillTree Great Place to Study – India Edition’ showcases 20 institutions in the country which have great global practices”.
The 20 universities and institutions awarded included G D Goenka University, Goa Institute of Management, Manipal University, XLRI – Xavier School of Management, Whistling Woods International, and Apeejay Education Society & Apeejay Stya University.