Better Higher Education Will Change Lives

Posted on March 3, 2008  Comments (1)

Better higher education will change lives by Shashi Tharoor

When i left India for post-graduate studies in 1975, there were perhaps 600 million people in India, and we had five IITs (Indian Institutes of Technology). Today, we are nearly double that population, and we have seven IITs, one of which has essentially involved the relabelling of an existing Regional Engineering College. To keep up with demand – and the needs of the marketplace – shouldn’t we have had 20 IITs by now of the same standard as the original five? Or even 30?

India is entering the global employment marketplace with a self-imposed handicap of which we are just beginning to become conscious – an acute shortage of quality institutions of higher education. For far too long we have been complacent about the fact that we had produced, since the 1960s, the world’s second largest pool of trained scientists and engineers.

Whereas countries in the Middle East, and China itself, are going out of their way to woo foreign universities to set up campuses in their countries, India turns away the many academic suitors who have come calling in recent years. Harvard and Yale would both be willing to open branches in India to offer quality education to Indian students, but have been told to stay away. Those Indians who choose to study abroad easily get scholarships to do so – currently 80,000 of them are in the United States alone.

Related: Science and Engineering in Global EconomicsGlobal Research University Rankings (2007)The Role of Science in EconomyThe Importance of Science EducationEngineering graduate: USA, China, Indiaposts on engineering education

One Response to “Better Higher Education Will Change Lives”

  1. mac
    March 5th, 2008 @ 9:18 am

    not necessarily,in Malaysia for instance,its quite different though

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