Foreign Higher Ed Institutions and India: Much Ado About Nothing?
However, seen from an Indian Higher Education context, this is a disappointment too. I was following the fortunes of the Foreign Education Providers bill for several years (see India: Education's Wild West, The Politics of Foreign Education Providers Bill in India and Does India need Foreign Education Providers?), and progressively discovered that the real crux of the matter is a struggle with current vested interests and a liberalization of the sector, rather than inviting Oxford and Harvard into India. It is important, therefore, to look closely at the issues involved in Indian Higher Education at the current time, as listed below:
Despite this limited impact, the reason why the Foreign Education Providers Bill generates the sentiments it does is because it will signify opening up the sector and taking on the vested interests for the first time. Indeed, the stated reason for even pursuing the bill is that this will bring in foreign investment in education: However, most Indian companies are sitting on huge piles of cash and since they need the high quality Higher Education the most, India may not need any foreign investment at all. What it needs is a regulatory regime with right safeguards and incentives for 'professionalization' of the sector, and it is in co-opting the current model of Corporate Higher Education for the wider public the much-needed redemption of India's Higher Education sector lie. Foreign Education Providers Bill is only a bottle-opener of sorts, to let the genie out.