Challenges in internationalisation of higher education

Synopsis: NEP, 2020 has an objective to attract International branch campuses (IBCs) of top Universities in India. But there are several challenges associated with it.


  • Recently, National Education Policy-2020 (NEP-2020) was introduced in India. NEP-2020, for the first time, has highlighted internationalisation of higher education as an objective. 
  • To achieve this, NEP-2020 allows the top 100 World-Class Universities to open international branch campuses (IBCs) in India. 
  • The reason behind this is to raise the standard of research and teaching to international levels and reduce the out-bound mobility of Indian students. 

In this article. we will discuss the challenges that needs to be addressed at the implementational level before allowing International branch campuses (IBCs) in India.  

How IBCs will help to increase the inflow of foreign students? 

  • In April 2018, India launched Study in India Programme with generous scholarships to increasing the inflow of foreign students. However, it did not succeed in attracting foreign students on a large scale. 
  • It is expected that, the establishment of IBCs in India will increase in-bound mobility of students and scholars. 
  • The international standards maintained by the IBCs will attract international students to explore and experience Indian education and culture. 

What are the challenges that need to be addressed? 

Top universities are willing to open international branch campuses (IBCs) in India. But they need clarity in areas essential for operationalisation of branch campuses in India.  

First, such universities are not driven by state sponsored infrastructures. For example, the Dubai Knowledge Hub, that offered ready to move in campus, office space. IBCs wants to accumulate profits like any other business enterprise and repatriate income to their home 

Second, which subjects and areas of research to be allowed for IBCs is an area of concern. Most of the time Humanities and Social sciences are not considered due to low profits in them. 

Fourth, IBCs demands for more autonomy in curriculum design, daily functioning of the institution etc. Thus, they might take decisions against the local requirement if they feel it is not profitable. 

Fifth, IBCs will also expect to be treated on par with Indian institutions in matters of government funding and scholarships.  

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