Indian economy had experienced major policy changes in early 1990s. The new economic reform, popularly known as, Liberalization, Privatization and Globalization (LPG model) aimed at making the Indian economy as the fastest growing economy and globaly competitive. Though the new policies helped Indian organizations to be competitive, they pushed them (organizations) into trouble. Many small business enterprises have closed down and either mergers or acquisitions have taken place for survival.
Indians are experiencing the consequences of global meltdown not only on international front but also on domestic one. Foreign companies eye India with cautious optimism. In each and every field foreign companies want to fix their foot. But many a times India becomes a dumping market for foreign organizations.
In India there are a very few areas where foreign companies are not permitted to function and education is one of them. In the realm of academics higher education is very crucial to the student community as it gives emphasis on specializing. Through higher education B schools' contribution in acquisition of employment to students is high. The management degree allows them to work with reputed organizations and fulfill their dreams. But now Indian management schools have to face new problems from government as well as from the corporate trends.
At present foreign universities are not permitted to function in India. Recently published article says: "The new Minister of Human Resource Development, Kapil Sibal, has promised to open India's doors to foreign universities and to promote private investment in higher education".
Academic experts sense foreign universities' intentions and the consequences:
- Foreign universities will be coming with the intention of quick profit making.
- Most of the institutes who have applied for operation in India are not universities.
- Some of them are at bottom level on the standards of education in their home country.
- Foreign education system will not focus on improving Indian education system but to compete local education institutes.
- Demand for faculty relocation and cost involved they will end up in recruiting Indian teaching and non-teaching staff.
- The result of this will be that Indian students will have international degree but not international knowledge and experience.
After examining above consequences academic experts say: "Simply to throw the academic doors open would be a serious mistake. India, like other developing countries, needs a clear and transparent policy and regulatory framework". The single positive impact of this will lot of reforms will happen out of competitions. Indian academicians are aware of the Indian education system and they can make required reforms. (The Hindu-Tuesday, Jun 02, 2009) Indian society does not look at education as a profit making centre (business) but to build strong foundation of India. But contrary to the situation, unfortunately government intend to promote private investment in higher education
When the researches are showing the results: there is 15% dip in terms of students preparing for GMAT and GRE but domestic story is that they are doing really well. (The Economic Times- Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009) This shows the inclination towards Indian education has increased. Earlier students and their parents were keen to go abroad and study. But looking at the challenges and the cost involved in foreign studies, they opting for domestic universities. In spite of giving huge discounts in the form of scholarships Indian students are reluctant to study abroad. Then why do we still want to bid foreign universities? If government passes this proposal then exactly same implications will be there what have happened with vernacular medium school after entering convent schools.
Second is the issue of placements in B- Schools this year, institutes like IIM also have faced difficulties in placing students. Even though they are able to place students its only with the compromises on remuneration. Then we can envisage the employment scenario in second tier b-schools. In MBA education, internship projects are considered to be a probable doorway to get final placement. In the same regard the recent article: "Students head to India for experience as West slows down" (The Economic Times- Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009) is very nerve-racking. Getting internship projects to Indian students is one of the major challenges the B-school face. And now organizations are recruiting foreign students for internship project, this trend is alarming to the management institutes.
It's a golden hand shake by foreign students and Indian corporate. Foreign students look for an opportunity to work in India. Firstly because of global slow down and secondly they may have to work in India in future. As many foreign organizations are planning to operate in India. This will help them to spread their network as well as to understand Indian market. At the same time Indian companies want to know about foreign culture and understand their way of working, which help them to succeed on international level. This study reveals that this is a result of global downturn, but if the same trend continues in future Indian education system and the destiny of Indian aspiring managers will be in danger.
In short run inviting foreign universities and appointing foreign students look attractive to Indian government as well as to students but if we study long term impact, the globalization in academia will be hazardous.
It is alarming situation to the B-schools to get ready to compete with foreign institutes/ universities and make their students ready to compete with foreign students.
Prof. Aparna Sethi
Alliance Business Academy
The Economic Times- Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009
The Hindu-Tuesday, Jun 02, 2009