Rights of the students to get higher education of their choice

Anybody has a clue? Anybody has a vision? Yes for question one! No for the next two questions!
There is a breakdown of government machinery in Karnatakaand TN. Maharashtra is no better. Medical college seats are now openly bought and sold. There is a unrecordable black market for the seats. Do you want a medical seat? That can be “procured”, the whole business has become one of sheer survival. Colleges, say with some legitimacy and perfect common sense, can’t survive without a market return. Or, can they? There is all-round silence here!
Not very different for other professional degree seats as well.

The Times Higher Education Supplement, London has written a major editorial, titled “Global rivalry for good students”.

Higher education in the developed countries is a serious business. You need higher education experts. Here, it is all decided by illiterate politicians! Cross-border graduation, global citizen education is now the global vision for the merging knowledge based economies. In India higher education is still a long-term anxiety for every young student. We talk so much about human rights, rights of women, even animal rights. But no one talks of students rights to get an education they think their is their due. A great pity. We have too many academic bodies, too much of paper work, too much of academically worthless certifications and accreditations and what have you!

Strong passions are roused when home universities can’t admit good students who have to migrate for foreign universities. Foreign universities are entering India to recruit Indian students, the ones who can’t get into the Indian colleges gladly migrate to Australia or Canada, the two new destinations with lower fees and job opportunities. Even the UK is relaxing job norms for the students to go there for study and stay back for jobs. USA, with all its restrictions of visas is now realising that they have to recruit foreign students who bring into the US market the best brains and thus enhance US competitiveness. Airfares are falling and so more Indian students would migrate. Reversely, there is no sign of Indian universities receiving more foreign students. In sum, we are left with no competitive advantage in the globalised world to survive and turn India into a strong knowledge society. WTO rules now permit private universities. Chattisgarh state had permitted a large number of private universities. With foreign private universities entering where do our older and newer universities, deemed universities stand?

The era of global competition would only drive competition in unexpected directions. The IT industry has its own campus training programmes, so too the online training programmes of various sorts. So, the best option for our universities is to differentiate the best from the not so best. Let us identify the Ivy League universities, our Oxbridge ones so that we don’t duplicate courses. Now duplication is the curse. Also differentiate the pay scales. Get the best professors from across globe. Have a robust vision for higher education. We have to produce Nobel quality scientists and research capabilities. We have to haverobust academic industry collaborations. Unfortunately, our minds have become narrow. More and more. Too much politics spoils the campuses. Too much bureaucracy. Autonomy is dead.

Who has the clue? Who has the vision?

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