India has all the potential to be global education hub. However, it needs the smartest person to be the HRD Minister and has to invest at least 6% of GDP in education to change its fate – major findings of The Policy Times’s VC’s Roundtable with Prof C Raj Kumar, Founding Vice Chancellor of OP Jindal Global University
“The fundamental principle of any global university is its vision, mission, ability to build partnership, commitment to research and knowledge creation and unabashed embracement of rankings and bench markings” – Dr. Ashwin Fernandes, Regional Director for QS Intelligence Unit-Middle East, North Africa & South Asia & CEO for QS IGAUGE
There have been scholars and scholarly works which have identified the features and characteristics of a global university. The purpose is to understand how Indian universities are functioning and how to exchange and share the best practices that some of the best Indian universities are doing and so to talk on what are the basic features or traits to be a truly Global University in the current context and what should be done to bring national growth and development in India we have organised a webinar on ‘Globalising Indian Universities for a Roadmap of the Future’.
Prof (Dr.) C. Raj Kumar, Founding Vice Chancellor of OP Jindal Global University, says, “The most important aspect of a global university is its vision and mission, which should not be confined to any geographical boundaries and with its vision and mission it immediately connects to its ability to attract global talent in the form of global faculty as well as students to be able to be a part of the institutions. The third feature being able to build partnership with universities around the world, and for that you need to recognise that and you need to commit to yourself and work towards developing all forms of mobility, be it student exchange programs, dual degree programs, study abroad programs, study immersion programs, thus two- way mobility becomes one of the important factor for being a global university”.
“The fourth feature of a global university is its strong and substantive commitment to research and knowledge creation leading to publication, and this requires greater funding, greater resources as well as greater institutional commitment with regard to what is needed, and the fifth feature is its unabashed embracement of rankings and bench markings, there is no if and buts when it comes to rankings and bench markings because at the end of the day you have to benchmark yourself internationally if you want to be a global university,” he added.
Dr. Ashwin Fernandes, Regional Director for QS Intelligence Unit–Middle East, North Africa & South Asia & CEO for QS IGAUGE, says, “The fundamental principle of any global university is its vision, mission, ability to build partnership, commitment to research and knowledge creation and unabashed embracement of rankings and bench markings. The feature that makes a university global, being one among all the features is definitely research and that is looked at literally in all the global rankings, and good research can be measured through the citation impact, but the citation measure is not the best measure and maybe there are other ways to look it, but we are learning and we’re looking at different other measures as well to national ratings, and if we go beyond the fact of research of what more makes a university global. So besides research, internationalisation to an extent, because mobility in the current sense is people moving from one country to another and with this there’s always being an argument in India that when we’ve so many extremely good national faculty why should we go for international faculty”.
He also said, “The fact is international faculty or people who come from other countries into India brings a different perspective, people bring different kind of knowledge, different kind of cultural backgrounds and this not only helps in imparting education but also showing a different perspective to what we are. So international faculty is one of QS main indicators of our rankings and looking at how global universities impact mobility, international students and we know how important international students are to the economy of the country as well. Along with these the impact of research, internationalisation on the reputation within the academic community and that has brought a considerable amount of weightage”.
He further added, “The impact of Covid- 19 in India most importantly we can see very clearly that not a single student will be able to go to study abroad this year and I would encourage to all the people who are listening that to a research we did on Indian Student Mobility and when we questioned students about the plans of studying abroad and how do they find online education from all the states of India and even from all the age- groups, the report said at least 50% of the students have been impacted by Covid and their intention to travel abroad have been impacted. Many universities abroad have gone bankrupt of the reason that they are not having enough number of international students”.
One need to move out of the constant effort to deal with good important problems when there is a crisis. The initiative that was taken by PM on Swacch Bharat, was not listened by many people and today whatever is happening through Covid- 19, the whole campaign of Swacch Bharat has acquired important significance, that cleanliness has become a very strong part of people’s imagination and public health experts, doctors, policy makers have for years have talked about why we need to develop public health infrastructure better as we know that we have total dysfunctional public health system but now with so much of measures on public health due to Corona we are all familiar with public health.
Education cannot be a crisis based governance, the issues regarding online education, exams should have been thought before and should be thinking through now and should also think through post- Covid. Public investment in higher education cannot substitute our higher education system by private needs, private universities should come and good ones should emerge and bad ones should either disappear or closed down but we need to develop a hybrid model the future is going to be based upon our ability to focus on human resource developments through building absolutely fantastic universities and empowering good universities to become better. This is the only way we can also address the problem of unemployment as well as the future of the students and develop a better economic and social and all other forms of development.
The Policy Times had organised the Webinar to bring in the best VC’s around the world to give a road map for future and how to be a global universities and what is to be done in the this crisis situation. The session being hosted by Mr. Akram Hoque, Founder- Editor of The Policy Times with two eminent and globally talented speakers Prof (Dr.) C. Raj Kumar, Founding Vice Chancellor of OP Jindal Global University and Dr. Ashwin Fernandes, Regional Director for QS Intelligence Unit in the Middle East, North Africa & South Asia, CEO for QS IGAUGE.