India considers opening higher education sector

Could allow foreign universities to expand into the world’s second-largest education market: are Canadian universities ready?

The Chronicle of Higher Education has written several stories in the past few weeks, covering plans to reform India’s moribund university sector, which has long been tied to (and tied down by) India’s notoriously inefficient bureaucracy. Among the proposed changes: opening the country to foreign university campuses.

Right now, it is difficult to impossible for foreign universities to get into the Indian market, and consequently the level of co-operation between India and Western universities is nothing compared to the growing higher education ties between Chinese and Western (especially American) universities. This despite the fact that India and the West —  and especially India and Canada — have so much in common: a common language, a common legal heritage, a common political system. What’s more, India exports tens of thousands of students and professionals to the West each year. And Canada has a large and growing population with roots in the subcontinent, with thousands of new immigrants arriving each year. The ties between the countries are strong; the field for cooperation is wide and fertile.

If the Indian educational market opens up, are Canadian universities ready?