India Emerging as a Major International Study Hub for Bangladeshi Students

by Israt Jahan Leena - 2 November, 2020, 12:00 4952 Views 0 Comment

Bangladesh and India have established an excellent example of friendship and neighbourhood. The two countries share the same values of secularism, pluralism and democracy. These two countries always share close socio-cultural relations with each other as well as in the education system. In this field, India has an obvious good situation with the position of the second-largest Higher Education System in the world. As a close neighbour, it is a very positive opportunity for Bangladesh to grab for its students. Because Bangladeshi students are now more active than any previous history in higher education. Bangladeshi students are now going abroad very frequently for educational purposes. And Indian education is a lucrative option for them to get.

In the frame of internationalization of education, India is soundly active. In the present era, students need to be a global citizen. That’s why internationalization in education is a must. UNESCO (2006) has given the following definition of internationalization of education. “It is Higher education that takes place in situations where the teacher, student, program, institution or provider and course materials cross-national jurisdictional borders. Cross-border education may include higher education by public or private and not-for-profit/ for-profit providers. It encompasses a wide range of modalities in a continuum from face-to-face (taking various forms from students traveling abroad and campuses abroad) to distance learning (using technologies and including e-learning)”.  Internationalization is therefore ‘a process of integrating an international perspective into the education’. It needs an institutional vision to motivate people to change the whole to think globally and collaboratively. It is a way towards an ever-changing, diverse external environment that focused on the global environment.

India has taken the necessary steps to cope with this internationalization of education. The Association of Indian Universities arranged a Round Table on ‘Internationalization of Indian Higher Education’ at the University of Mysore. They discussed the mechanisms to promote internationalization of Indian Higher Education at select Indian universities. Here, they emphasised on to realize the importance of internationalization and to take effective steps in this context. They moulded a committee which recommended the following actions for considerations of Academic Institutions:

  • Universities and other academic institutions that enroll a large number of international students must have enough facilities to provide the needed environment.
  • Evaluate strengths in different disciplines of education and identify areas that would attract international students at different levels.
  • Simplify the procedure for admitting international students.
  • Indian academic institutions should set up partnerships and develop networks with foreign universities in both the developed and the developing countries.
  • It is better if the academic environment of the partnering university is similar to that of Indian universities.
  • Updating and internationalization of the curriculum will get the highest priority.
  • Students from non-English speaking countries often have inadequate knowledge of the English language. Arrangement for conducting special English classes for them is necessary.
  • Indian universities should develop special short-term programs for students from developing countries who would like to visit India to learn more about its culture and heritage, natural possessions, diversity, languages or indigenous technologies.

Thus India is trying to build up the term of internationalization in its education system. And they are emerging as an international study hub for foreign students.

In the field of higher education, the Government of India has taken an initiative to increase the enrollment of the number of international students in their universities. The action is called Study in India, an initiative where the government is planning to invest 1500 Million Indian rupees. Being the second-largest English Speaking country in the world, India is expected to supply 47 million skilled talent by 2030 against the projected demand of 56 million in the developed countries. Moreover, by 2030 globally, 1 out of 4 graduates will be a product of the Indian Education System, a report published by Earnest & Young – FICCI. India is becoming a lucrative option for Bangladeshi students. Behind this, there are some following reasons:

Top-ranked universities: The higher education system in India is the third-largest in the world. India is a popular destination for higher studies for students from around the world as it is home to many reputed and top-ranked universities, like IIT’s, IIM’s, JNU, Manipal, Sharda University. Besides top universities, India has thousands of government and private universities & colleges to choose from.

Students friendly cities: Get a perfect student-friendly city in a foreign country is one of the top reasons to study in India. If students decide to study in India, they are likely to study in one of the enrich countries having diverse cultural backgrounds. India is home to over 400 cities home to multiple prestigious institutions spread across the nation, proof of the establishment of the enormous country. Each city has its unique traditions, cultures and values to take back home. Few cities like Delhi, Greater Noida, Bangalore and Pune shine among the rest as lucrative study abroad destinations.

Affordable tuition fees and living costs: Studying abroad in a completely different country becomes a major concern for international students and the cost of living in a foreign country can seem a matter of anxiety to many at first. India offers an easy cost of education. The cost of education in India is way lower compared to current giant education hubs such as the USA, UK and Australia. According to the HSBC report, an average annual tuition fee in India is a mere $3000, while an average fee in Australia is over $24,000, $24,500 in the USA and $20,000 in the UK.

Quality education: India is a popular choice among international students as it is known for its practical education. All institutions follow a set of syllabus for every course. Educational bodies that provide recognition to the institute also guide the curriculum and give reviews on individual departments in an institute. UGC, AICTE, NAAC and other Govt. bodies are there to check the quality of education.

Training and research: Most colleges and universities have established affiliations with employers and researchers in different fields of study in India, thereby creating a platform for students to obtain hands-on and invaluable experience. Many universities even demand that students have to gain practical training in order to graduate. In many cases, these opportunities are unavailable in other countries of the world.

English being the medium of instructions: The medium of instruction is a very crucial matter.  Every Indian university has English as the medium of instruction and most Indian universities consider a good knowledge of English in academic studies. For the Humanities, Social sciences and Commerce courses, the medium of instruction is both English and regional languages but in the case of professional courses, science and technical subjects, English is specially used for teaching. In a maximum educational institution, English is used largely.

Future career: Due to the great reputation of Indian education internationally, Indian degree holders tend to be viewed more favorably by employers than graduates from institutions in other countries. This gives a huge advantage over other candidates when applying for jobs, making it easier to progress in your future career and giving you access to better, more lucrative positions.

Notable alumni across the world: Well-known and notable persons across the world are alumni of the Indian education system, which itself is proof of quality education. Some of the notable alumni are;

  • Hussain Muhammad Ershad, former President of Bangladesh
  • Aung San Suu Kyi incumbent State Counsellor of Burma
  • Hamid Karzai, former president of Afghanistan
  • Bingu Wa Mutharika, former President of Malawi
  • Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria
  • Sitiveni Rabuka, former PM of Fiji
  • Baburam Bhattarai, Former PM of Nepal
  • Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuk, King of Bhutan
  • Lieutenant-General Frederick William Kwasi Akuffo, former Head of the State of Ghana
  • Manouchehr Mottaki former Iranian Foreign Minister
  • John Samuel Malecela, former PM of Tanzania

According to a report of 2017, a total of 1099 students went to India for higher education. And in that year overall enrolment was 1526. Day by day Bangladeshi students are being interested in the Indian education system. India has taken many steps to attract Bangladeshi students. Like India has arranged education fair in Dhaka and Chattogram in 2018 and 2019. Also arranged ‘Study in India’ meet. Where they have provided authentic information and guidelines to the Bangladeshi students. Besides they have directed an easy way to access Indian education. The non-discriminatory approach of Indian institutions easily attracts Bangladeshi students. Bangladesh-India friendly relationship also has a vast effect in this field. It creates a positive image of India to the students. And they think of India as more friendly than any other country.

Indian education has huge possibilities not only in Bangladesh but also in the whole Asia. If Bangladeshi students become interested in Indian education, this is good for both the country. It will enrich the Bangladesh – India relationship. If it can be continued, in future, India will be one of the most attractive education hubs for Bangladeshi students.

Israt Jahan Leena
Author is Student at the Department of International Relations, University of Chittagong, Bangladesh.

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