Foreign Education in India
Things are really happening in the international education space in India. Certainly, government reforms aimed at creating a friendly environment for foreign institutions to set up various types of operations in India are helping. Whether its advisories to Indian colleges, study centres or full-blown satellite campuses, foreign higher education initiatives present some unique opportunities for Indian students.
Not every student has the adventurous spirit to leave their home country and attend college abroad. To meet the needs of students who want an educational experience that takes them away from India’s traditional college structure (think more electives and exposure to a wider range of subjects beyond one’s chosen course or stream), there are a few new colleges popping up within India.
Recently I was invited to a session to learn more about the Global Pathways Institute (GPI) in India. GPI offers Indian students the opportunity to complete their first two years of an American college curriculum in India. This is not only a chance to delay departure from the comforts of home, but it is also more economical. After two years at GPI, with an annual tuition of $15,000 (Rs 9.3 lakh), the student can then apply to transfer to complete their final two years at a college in the US, which will cost between $25,000-$ 40,000 (Rs 15.5 lakh-Rs 24.8 lakh) annually. Students who complete the two years at GPI are guaranteed admission into Arcadia University, GPI’s partner, in Philadelphia with a $10,000 (Rs 6.2 lakh) scholarship. However, students are not bound to attend Arcadia and are allowed to apply to any college after two years at GPI.
A similar arrangement has been set up in Tamil Nadu on the National Management School (NMS) campus in Chennai. This program, run through Broward College in Florida and set up by American professors, allows students to complete a two-year American Associate’s degree and then apply to transfer to its affiliate college – Concordia College of New York, or to any college in America in science, arts, business or engineering. The fees for this program are also low, around $9,000 (Rs 5.5 lakh) plus an additional $2,000 (Rs. 1.2 lakh) for room and board. A unique feature of the NMS/Concordia program is that American students who want to save money on their first two years of education are also eligible to attend, so that will bring in some diversity to the Indian campus. In addition, students can spend a term at another campus in Singapore, Colombo or Vietnam during those two years as a study abroad experience.
Another global addition to the Indian academic landscape is Ashoka University, a new college near Delhi/NCR, billed as ‘An Ivy League Education in India.’ That is certainly a tall order, but it is being executed through brilliant collaboration with several institutions throughout the world – University of Pennsylvania Engineering, University of Michigan and Carleton College. The faculty, both permanent and visiting, have been culled from prominent academic rosters, all coming together with the goal of creating an institution that offers world-class rigour and exposure to a breadth of ideas. As if the liberal courses and creative thinking were not enough, Ashoka’s tuition fees are significantly lower than going to study in the US. At Rs 3,90,000 for tuition and Rs 95,000 for hostel fees, Ashoka’s accomplished faculty are coming to students at a steal.