India’s Own Ivy League

5 април, 2011 12:05 | English | Няма коментари

India’s Own Ivy League

MUMBAI, India — You may not be able to take the Harvard out of Cambridge, but what are the odds India can grow its own Ivy League?

In an effort to boost the country’s presence on the global stage and improve the quality of its higher education, India has announced plans to create a so-called Indian Ivy League. The government hopes to build world-class universities that compete with the likes of Yale and Princeton, according to Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal.

The creation of Navratna Universities also aims to satisfy some of the increasing demand in India for higher education as the pool of lower middle-class and female students in this rapidly developing country grows.

Education experts in India applaud the government’s ambitions. However, they also question whether this goal will be possible in the current environment, where regulations are plentiful and funding can be scarce.

“Countries around the world are setting up world class universities,” said Pawan Agarwal, author of „Indian Higher Education: Envisioning the Future.“ “Why should India be left behind?”

The new universities will be public non-profits but given “generous” financial support, the ability to access external funding and “total autonomy to free them from the shackles of government control,” the minister said during a speech this month.

Despite some fears in the United States that its education system is falling behind and the nation is becoming less competitive, things are not rosy here either. There is a huge need in India for more access to quality higher education. As Vivek Wadhwa, a visiting scholar at University of California at Berkeley, wrote in Foreign Policy, “India and China’s successes aren’t due to their education systems, but despite them.”

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