The Ministry of Education is deliberating on measures to increase the number of international students coming to India for higher studies. In a review meeting of the Ministry’s Study in India Programme with partner institutions yesterday, Secretary Higher Education Shri Amit Khare said that the criteria for institutions partnering under the programme will soon be revised so that more institutions that have the necessary infrastructure and academic quality can join the programme. He also said that no distinction will be made between private and public institutions in matters of supporting internationalization.
Study in India is a programme of the Govt of India that aims to attract and increase the International Students in India for higher education in Indian institutions. Select 117 institutions are partners under the programme that was launched in 2018. Admissions are merit-based and done through a common portal. Around 7500 students from over 50 countries have come to Indian institutions so far under this programme.
The Government has also recognized the importance of creating a conducive, on-campus ecosystem for international students, where they not only get quality academic inputs but can also feel safe, welcome, happy, and hassle-free. In this regard, the Secretary called upon all partner institutions to set up world-class hostels for international students. There is a provision for financial assistance for this under the Champion Services Sector Scheme that supports SII, which can be provided to some institutions. In addition, there is an urgent requirement of setting up International Students’ Offices in every institution that takes in international students. This office should work as single-window support for anything that the international students may need, right from the day they get selected to join the institution. Besides this, avenues like networks of families, mentors, etc should be developed, who can help the students to socialize so that they feel welcome in the country and have an enjoyable stay here, with memories that they can cherish, and positive experience to share with others.
In addition to this, the Ministry has also asked institutions that they should consider organizing orientation for international students when they join, as well as orientation for the faculty to sensitize them to teach using contexts that these students can relate to.
The Ministry is also looking towards enhanced academic collaborations between Indian and international institutions under Twinning, Joint, and Dual degrees with credit transfer mechanism. UGC has already brought out draft regulations in this regard that have currently been put up for stakeholder consultation. These regulations will give a boost to student exchange programmes and short programmes of one or two semesters.
The Ministry has plans to take up the issue of allowing internships for international students with the concerned department of the Government. Many of the partner institutions pointed out that the absence of internships for international students was a big drawback for any programme of higher studies in India. The Ministry will iron out other issues of concern for international students, for example, visa issues.
All institutions have also been asked to activate their Alumni network and use this connection to draw more students to Indian institutions.
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