News / Asia

Even With Green Light, Foreign Universities May Not Rush to Build in India

U.S. Ambassador Timothy Roemer at Asian Corporate Conference, New Delhi, 18 Mar 2010
U.S. Ambassador Timothy Roemer at Asian Corporate Conference, New Delhi, 18 Mar 2010

Legislation that would allow foreign universities to set up in India may not create a rush among top-flight colleges to establish campuses in the world's second most populous nation.

India's Cabinet has given its nod to allowing accredited universities from abroad to set up in the country. That might help keep some of the India's brightest at home and allow others, who cannot get seats in existing schools, to obtain a top-quality global-level education.

At present, about 160,000 Indians are studying overseas, spending an estimated $4 billion annually.

The bill is expected to be sent to the Parliament within weeks.

Some academic experts predict America's Ivy League and other elite universities will not, however, rush to India. Many schools have suffered setbacks amid the global economic downturn after establishing campuses in the United Arab Emirates and elsewhere in the Middle East in the 1990s.

During an appearance at the Asian Corporate Conference in New Delhi, U.S. Ambassador Timothy Roemer agreed that might give American colleges pause about further overseas expansion.

"Maybe instead of building campuses, maybe they're going to start by partnering with India, which India has considered very carefully in this bill, which is a good thing," he said. "Maybe instead of bricks and mortars they're going to do distance learning and use technology."

Media reports here say another aspect of the proposed legislation that could severely limit the number of foreign colleges in India is fees and other mandated costs totaling more than $70 million for each foreign school wanting to have a physical presence in the country.

Some critics contend the educational sector where India most critically needs international cooperation is at the primary and secondary level.

To that end, the World Bank has announced it is providing a $1 billion soft loan to India for education. The money, specifically, is to be used to increase the number of children enrolling in and graduating from elementary school. About one-third of the loan is to be used to improve the quality of engineering education.

Under a 2002 constitutional amendment, every Indian child has a fundamental right to education. The reality is that millions of children in the country do not go to school. And many classrooms are that in name only. Some have no teachers or lack even the most basic supplies.

World Bank officials say the billion-dollar loan will help by focusing on teacher training, as well as providing free textbooks and other learning materials.

India's economy is booming and its infrastructure is being rapidly upgraded but the country suffers from a severe skills shortage, especially with infrastructure development and information technology.

The World Bank money devoted to technical education is meant to support 200 engineering institutions and improve research and development at those schools.


Steve Herman

A veteran journalist, Steven L Herman is the Voice of America Asia correspondent.

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid