Vidya Yeravdekar on Pune being the hub for internationalisation of higher education
Internationalisation is a powerful driving theme, enabling Indian higher education to both, be in consonance with global standards, as also emerge a leader in higher education globally. India’s higher education institutions are today ‘global’, in all senses of the word, says Vidya Yeravdekar, pro chancellor, Symbiosis International University.pune Updated: Jul 07, 2018 17:21 IST
Pune is known as the Oxford of the East. Pune has the largest number of students, over six lakh come from all states of India and 85 different countries. Most of these foreign students come from Afro-Asian countries.
Pune has the largest number of universities in any city of India. Pune houses some of the top-ranked universities, like Pune university, apart from some deemed universities like Symbiosis International University, Bharati Vidyapeeth, DY Patil, etc, as well as a large number of private universities.
Apart from foreign students, Pune also houses a large number of non-resident Indian (NRI) students.
The reason why foreign students come to Pune are manifold. One reason of course, is because of the large number of universities here and the diversity of programmes and courses they offer. The second reason, is the climate; because Pune is climatically appreciated not just by Indians, but even foreign students. The third and most important is safety. Pune is known as a safe city and the fourth reason is the industry base around Pune.
Pune has over 110 MNCs and many other companies, IT hubs, manufacturing units, startups, making it a promising location for all job seekers. It is also the home of hundreds of IT companies, like Wipro, Infosys, Volkswagen, TCS and Accenture.
As a city, Pune offers just the right blend to students who not only get excellent academic exposure, but also a great cultural sensitisation due to the diversity of students coming from various places both from India and abroad.
In the last two decades, the higher education scene in Pune has changed considerably. From just one public and four deemed universities, presently Pune has an additional six private universities.
The programmes offered by these universities has also seen a change over the last few decades. Earlier on, the focus was more on humanities, but now one sees that professional programmes like Engineering, Medicine and Law, have become very popular. Due to this diversity of programmes, a large number of students are attracted to the city of Pune.
Then, there are international students too. Foreign students have not only increased in numbers over the last decade, but have also increased by the number of countries represented. From around 10,000 to 12,000 students, present numbers are about 22,000 students from 85 different countries.
Another new trend that is seen as a change over the last decade or two is the number of foreign students from developed countries that come to Pune to universities for short term ‘study India’ programmes. These students come from USA, UK , Europe and Singapore.
Universities have sought collaborations with some of the best foreign universities. Therefore, the trend of Indian students from Pune, going abroad for exchange programmes has also increased.
Similarly, faculty exchange programmes have helped Pune faculty to visit foreign universities either for teaching or for joint research with their collaborative partners.
Internationalisation is a powerful driving theme, enabling the Indian higher education sector to both be in consonance with global standards as also emerge a leader in higher education globally. India’s higher education institutions are today global, in all senses of the word.
Overall, the trend of Internationalisation over the last 20 years has seen a sea change.
First Published: Jul 07, 2018 17:14 IST