India has pitched for renowned American Universities to set up their campuses in the country. The Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal who is in US to attend the crucial Indo-US Higher Education Summit said that tie-ups between both the nations would yield high economic returns.
Stressing on why foreign institutes should ‘reach out’ to Indian student base, Sibal said “the way to move forward in education is to come to India, to collaborate and set up institutions and reach out to people." He, however, added that India has to create an environment for US universities to set up base in the country.
"You have a higher education structure which is the envy of the world; it has been at the front of all knowledge creation. US has the best academics all over the world. It is time for you to reach out collaborate with us because in that process you will participate in not just helping us solve our problems but helping us solve the problems of the world," he said at an event on India-US education opportunities organised by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies.
The day long education summit on October 13, 2011 to be co-chaired by Sibal and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, will see participation by over 300 higher education leaders, government and private sector representatives.
Sibal pointed out that investing in the Indian education sector makes good economic sense, "Your model that kids should fly across the Atlantic to go to Harvard, Stanford or Yale is not a good economic model because your investment per dollar gives you a very small return. The same investment in India in collaboration with an Indian institution will give you much higher return," he said.
While only 100,000 Indian students are currently studying in the US, Sibal said India has over 200 million students who need quality education.
"So instead of having 200,000 people come to the US, you can actually with the same money empower a million kids in India. There is need to change the mindset of people in the education sector."
Sibal further added that India needs another 1000 universities and 55,000 colleges in the next 10 years when the number of children going to college increases from the current 16 million to 45 million.
"India cannot build 1000 universities on its own. So we will perforce have to create an environment in which private sector investment, FDI and public-private partnership will be channelled into the education sector. There are opportunities galore in India in every part of its economy, be it infrastructure or education and billions of dollars of investment is projected to be made in these sectors,” he remarked.