American universities see the proposed move to allow foreign direct investment (FDI) in Indian education sector, which comes amid the growing bilateral relationship between the US and India, as a positive step.
However, the institutions are wary of the fine print of the Bill and seek more clarity before they enter India.
“The Foreign Education Bill is a great step in the right direction. However, there needs to be a lot of clarity on finer points such as curriculum, fee structure and profit sharing,” Suresh Kumar, assistant secretary for trade promotion and director general of the US and foreign commercial service, US Department of Commerce, said here.
In March 2010, the Union HRD ministry proposed a legislation to allow foreign education providers to set up campuses in India. However, the Bill is awaiting parliamentary approval despite being cleared by the standing committee. “Education, energy and infrastructure are the only constraints for India’s growth and the US institutions see a big time opportunity in these areas,” said Kumar, who is leading a US education mission to India.
The 21 US schools and universities that are part of this mission are keen to build partnerships with their Indian counterparts in areas of teacher training, technology, curriculum and student exchange programmes, he said.
The delegation, which is visiting Chennai, Mumbai and New Delhi, is meeting up with the universities in the states to explore co-operation in education sector.
Kumar cautioned students against fake universities and said, “Don’t go with brokers but reach out to authentic sources such a US education foundation or the embassy in Delhi for information on US universities.” Indian students, totalling 104,897 in 2010, represent 15 per cent of the overall international students attending US universities.