February 9, 2006
Written by C.N.
Inside Higher Education has an article that describes an increasingly common trend among colleges and universities these days: looking to India to attract students, form distance learning ventures, and to tap other education-related resources:
India has long been a place of study for scholars of the region’s history, religions and cultures. And India has long been a major supplier of foreign students for American colleges, but the numbers have shot up dramatically in the last decade, such that India now sends more students to the United States than any other country. . .
For American higher education, “India is the next China,” says Philip Altbach, director of Boston College’s Center for International Higher Education. In many ways, Altbach and others say, India logically should have been attractive to American colleges looking for partners years ago. India has long had a large share of well educated students who speak English and an interest in technology — and the government is democratic.
But that government has historically been dubious of American institutions, and bureaucratic roadblocks were numerous for any American university leader trying to do much more than visit. In the past few years, however, India’s government has become much more receptive — and while complicated regulations are by no means gone, they are not seen as insurmountable.
The article goes on to list several recent examples of American universities forming agreements and ventures with various institutions in India. In particular, the article singles out the University of Southern California as a leader in developing and maintaining educational and economic ties with India.
I’ve written before that many economists and observers predict that India will eventually lose its stranglehold on being the international center for outsourcing. Nonetheless, as this article shows, India still has plenty of resources to draw upon in its continuing efforts to modernize and connect itself more directly into American institutions, in this case education.
In other words, despite some possible bumps along the road, India’s march toward becoming an economic — and possible educational — superpower continues to gather steam.
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Suggested reference: Le, C.N. . "Colleges Looking to India" Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America. <http://www.asian-nation.org/headlines/2006/02/colleges-looking-to-india/> ().
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