Opportunities are growing for UK higher education providers to expand in India, new research by the British Council has found.
India has the largest university age population in the world, and combined with its significant economic growth– there is now an urgent demand for innovation in education and training delivery – including transnational (TNE) delivery.
Insert titile of reportfound that enrolments on TNE programmes have risen steadily over the last five years to approximately 13,000 students (2013/14); those coming into the UK on TNE programmes now contribute up to a fifth of all Indian undergraduate students in UK.
Richard Everitt, Director of Education and Society for the British Council in India, commented ‘’This research shows that TNE opportunities must be taken seriously by any UK Universities and Colleges that want a long-term partnership with India. The report provides a practical guide in how to consider, establish and manage TNE relationships with and Indian institution. Just last month Prime Ministers Modi and Cameron announced the ‘2016 UK-India year of education, research and innovation’ and TNE growth will be a key aspect of that.”
The report,” states that successful TNE partnerships had given rise to many direct benefits: Indian partners and staff noted a quick start-up of programmes, international training for staff and tighter approaches to quality assurance. UK universities reported that they had gained a new understanding and networks with India, increased staff and student exchanges with greater potential for student mobility to UK.
The report also found that many of the India-UK TNE partnerships were underpinned by strong staff relationships - teams with a shared outlook and understanding. Investment in team-building was identified as crucial.
Regulation has been considered a stumbling block to TNE expansion in India, but the British Council report concludes that the changes to TNE requirements recently introduced by the Indian University Grants Commission (UGC) and All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) are supportive and allow foreign degrees to be delivered through TNE partnership arrangements.
However, there remains an associated need for parallel affiliation of any programme with an Indian university for a degree award. A further requirement is that all Indian education activities must be not-for profit. The report notes that some challenges remain regarding the recognition of foreign degrees, particularly for distance learning, but the recent Association of Indian Universities (AIU) requirements offer some flexibility in defining equivalences of awards.
Moreover, cultural differences at both institutional and individual levels need to be recognised and addressed, the British Council research recommends. Potentially contrasting areas include cultures of learning, assessment and institutional management.