In India, brain drain has been a problem that has not been adequately addressed. As NEP 2020 is implemented and several reforms are underway, we hope that Indian higher education will expand both in capacity and quality. The initiative should enable students to have enough options at home, rather than having to go abroad for higher education, said Vineet Gupta Ashoka University Founder.
Former Union Minister of Human Resource Development Ramesh PokhriyalNishank met with various bodies to discuss the “Study in India and Stay in India” initiative. At this meeting, many options were discussed on how to retain and integrate students who left their studies abroad midway and are now stranded in India. In the wake of the meeting, a new committee headed by the UGC Chairman was formed in order to draft rules and regulations to ensure that more students are retained, while also finding ways to integrate students who are midway through their programmes in another country.
What is the importance of providing our students with options?
“Having helped thousands of students go abroad by training them for entrance exams, I realized that most of these youngsters move abroad because of lack of options in India. And this is true in most disciplines whether engineering or social sciences. Medical students are tired of competing for a minimal number of seats in medical colleges in India and a lot of them opt to pursue medicine abroad. In-fact, countries like Ukraine, China, Russia etc. are providing medical courses at far cheaper rates than Indian Institutes further incentivizing young Indians to make the move abroad”, explains Vineet Gupta, Founder, Ashoka University.
As It was reported that over 7,00,000 students moved abroad in 2019 to pursue their studies. That is a worrying sign, as well as a significant drain on foreign exchange for India. Each year, Indians spend close to USD 25-30 billion on foreign education. Investing the same money in India would not only revitalize the higher education sector but also stimulate the economy.
A successful “Stay in India, Study in India” program depends on India exploring the right options
The NEP reforms offer India multiple opportunities to revolutionize its education system, and many changes are already underway.
Some options that need to be explored and implemented:
1. Incentivising private institutions to create more capacity –
Millions of young people in India have been told for far too long that public universities are their only option, which has hindered many private institutions from attracting talented students. It is not appropriate to consider private higher education as an industry. In order to ensure quality higher education, the government should provide affordable land and low interest rates on capital to incentivize the construction of higher education institutions.
2. Multidisciplinary approach and credit transfers will give flexibility –
“I have spoken many times about what we have done at Ashoka in terms of multi-disciplinary education and credit transfers. With the NEP also emphasizing on it, all Indian institutions should adopt this. This will help many youngsters who want to pursue multiple options during their higher studies and often look abroad. With credit transfers, many students who come back mid-way can study in Indian universities. It is also encouraging to note, that the Government has shown keen interest in setting up multidisciplinary universities across the nation and implementation of this will help many students get better options in India”, opines Vineet Gupta, Founder, Ashoka University
3. Making education more cost effective and providing more scholarships –
The rising cost of higher education has become a major barrier to access. If more scholarships are provided by the government, private institutions can reduce their costs.
“Education in India currently is undergoing a massive transition and our aspiration should be to establish one of the top education systems in the world. With our outstanding human talent, we have a unique opportunity to not only have all our students study at home but also we could educate large numbers of students from all parts of the world at a fraction of the cost of western universities. This will not only ensure inflow of more foreign exchange into our economy but also, improve competition and collaboration in our education ecosystem.”, concludes Vineet Gupta, Founder, Ashoka University.