Entry of foreign univs in India will create opportunities, improve infra

It is essential to strike a balance between benefits and drawbacks to ensure the arrival of foreign universities proves advantageous for Indian students and also implement policies keeping the welfare of scholars at the forefront

Entry of foreign univs in India will create opportunities, improve infra

The current state of higher education in India is a combination of progress and challenges. While there has been an increase in enrolment, with over 4.14 crore students in higher education, marking a 21% increase along with a significant jump in the number of universities, with 353 new universities being established since 2014-15, the entry of foreign universities in India remains a debated topic. There are concerns about the impact on local institutions and the need for regulatory frameworks. Additionally, there are ongoing challenges with access to quality education, particularly for marginalised communities and in certain regions.

The incorporation of local branches of prestigious universities such as Harvard and Oxford into India’s education sector raises concerns about the impact on the country’s educational environment.

Exposure and opportunities

One of the significant advantages is the exposure and opportunities it can provide. According to a report by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, the demand for higher education in India has increased from 34 million in 2015 to 44 million in 2020. However, there are currently only 864 universities and 40,026 colleges in India, which is not sufficient to meet the growing demand. The entry of foreign universities will increase the options available to students and provide them with more opportunities to pursue their desired fields of study.


The competition will drive Indian universities to improve their infrastructure and facilities, benefiting students in the end. Currently, many Indian universities struggle with outdated facilities and inadequate infrastructure. According to a report by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO), only 6.9% of Indian universities have modern infrastructure. The entry of foreign universities will force Indian varsities to upgrade their facilities to match the standards of their foreign counterparts.

Knowledge sharing and employability

Collaboration and knowledge sharing between Indian and foreign universities can be seen as a significant advantage. According to a report by the Ministry of Education, collaboration with foreign universities will enable Indian universities to access international research and scholarship, enhancing the quality of research and innovation in India. In terms of employment, the entry of foreign universities will generate job opportunities for local people.

Brain drain

Recent data presented in Parliament by the government revealed a 68% rise in Indian students studying abroad in the last year, with 750,365 doing so in 2022 as opposed to 444,553 in 2021. A recent study by INTO University Partners found that 76% of Indian students are considering studying abroad to work and relocate there once they have earned their foreign degree. This means that India is losing a significant amount of talent and human capital, which could hurt the country’s economic growth and development.

Cultural difference

Indian universities have a unique culture and teaching style, which may be difficult for foreign universities to adapt. On the other hand, foreign universities may have a different culture and teaching style, which could be a challenge for Indian students to adapt to. This cultural clash could lead to a loss of Indian identity and cultural values in the education system. The National Education Policy 2020 (NEP 2020) aims to promote Indian languages and culture in the education system to ensure the symbiotic existence of different cultures.

While the entry of foreign universities can provide students with more options and contribute to the development of infrastructure, collaboration, and research capabilities, it can also lead to brain drain, high costs, cultural differences, and a loss of Indian identity. To ensure that the entry of foreign universities benefits Indian students and the education system as a whole, it is essential to strike a balance between the benefits and drawbacks and implement policies related to the privatisation of education and the quality of education while keeping the welfare of students at the forefront.

The author is the principal of KPB Hinduja College of Commerce and Economics in Mumbai

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