With an aim to make India a study destination for students from across the world, the Ministry of Education has expanded its ‘Study In India’ programme to include private higher education institutes as well. Currently, 117 institutions are partners under the Study in India programme which was launched in 2018 to allow more international students to enroll in India-based colleges. Around 7500 students from over 50 countries have come to Indian institutions so far under this programme.
Now, the government aims to change the criteria for institutions partnering under the programme. “Criteria will soon be revised so that more institutions that have the necessary infrastructure and academic quality can join the programme,” said higher education secretary Amit Khare. He also said that no distinction will be made between private and public institutions in matters of supporting internationalization.
The government has also asked institutes to create a “conducive, on-campus ecosystem for the international students”, where they not only get quality academic inputs but can also feel safe, welcome, happy, and hassle-free. All partner institutions were asked to set up ‘world-class’ hostels for international students. There is a provision for financial assistance for this under the Champion Services Sector Scheme that supports SII, which can be provided to some institutions.
There is “an urgent requirement of setting up International Students’ Offices” in every institution that takes in international students, the Ministry of Education said in an official notice. This office will work as single-window support for anything that the international students may need, right from the day they get selected to join the institution. Besides this, avenues like networks of families, mentors etc should be developed, who can help the students to socialize so that they feel welcome in the country and have an enjoyable stay here, with memories that they can cherish, and positive experience to share with others.
In addition to this, the Ministry has also asked institutions that they should consider organizing orientation for international students when they join, as well as orientation for the faculty to sensitize them to teach using contexts that these students can relate to.
The Ministry is also looking towards enhanced academic collaborations between Indian and international institutions under twinning, joint, and dual degrees with credit transfer mechanism.
The Ministry has plans to take up the issue of allowing internships for international students with the concerned department of the Government. Many of the partner institutions pointed out that the absence of internships for international students was a big drawback for any programme of higher studies in India. The Ministry will iron out other issues of concern for international students, for example, visa issues, it said in an official statement.
All institutions have also been asked to activate their Alumni network and use this connection to draw more students to Indian institutions.