A five-year vision for higher education, India’s EQUIP initiative, has fuelled optimism of an upgraded education landscape following the revisit of a measure seeking to allow top foreign universities to operate in the country.
University World News reported that the Ministry of Human Resource Development’s higher education department has finalised its five-year plan entitled Education Quality Upgradation and Inclusion Programme or EQUIP, which would be implemented from 2019 to 2024.
EQUIP’s objectives include promoting excellence, seeking increased funds for colleges with low gross enrolment ratio (GER), and improving employability and entrepreneurship, among others.
In its June-28 report, EQUIP said that the Foreign Education Providers Bill would be looked again “with an open mind.”
World’s top universities welcome with India’s EQUIP initiative
The measure seeks to authorise top international universities belonging in the world’s top 200 – from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia, among others – to establish branches and operate in India.
Some institutions, such as the University of Chicago, Harvard Business School, Virginia Tech, and Deakin University, have been allowed to create research centres despite no law allowing foreign institutions to teach in India.
Likewise, Indian institutions participating in the “Study in India” initiative who would meet eligibility criteria, would be permitted to expand overseas.
The bill has been long pushed to pass into law during the previous governments but it failed to bear fruit.
Foreign players to improve things for India
Jaivardhan Singh, a graduate of the Columbia University’s school of international and public affairs, welcomed India’s EQUIP initiative, saying that allowing top foreign players into the higher education system “could make things better for the country.”
“I think tight controls in the education sector in India must go, as they have so far prevented meaningful associations with world-class institutions,” Singh added.
An increased number of Indian students have travelled abroad to study, but India has not been able to attract large number of international students, an issue that EQUIP wants to address.
With EQUIP, India is seeking to double the GER in higher education, as well as improve teaching and learning processes, resolve geographically skewed access to higher education institutions and achieve globally acceptable quality standards across the country.
Photo: Study in India facebook
Hari is the Managing Editor of Global Education Times. Hari has clocked nearly a decade working as a communications professional with a focus on the education sector. He has also had stints in journalism and advertising in a career which has seen him live, study, and work, in three countries.
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