India Aims to Attract 500,000 Foreign Students by 2047

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India has set an ambitious goal of attracting half a million international students to its universities by 2047. This announcement comes from the government think tank NITI Aayog, which is currently developing a “vision document” outlining strategies to achieve this target.

“One of the key goals is to attract half a million foreign students to India by 2047,” said BVR Subrahmanyam, CEO of NITI Aayog. “We aim to become a global education hub by improving our quality, brand value, and globally recognized rankings.”

This initiative aligns with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, which aims to establish India as a leading global education destination. Concrete steps are being taken to realize this vision, including:

  • Allowing branch campuses of international universities: This attracts students from neighboring countries who might otherwise choose Western destinations, while also retaining Indian students who would otherwise study abroad.
  • Increased seat allocation for international students: This has risen from 15% to 25%, providing greater access for foreign students.
  • Technology adoption: India has launched the Study in India portal and is promoting the use of AI in higher education to stay competitive.

The Association of Indian Universities (AIU) is also supporting these efforts and is working to implement the NEP’s internationalization goals. The FICCI, a leading industry body, has also released a report titled “Transformation of Indian Higher Education: Strategies to Leapfrog,” which recommends strategies for further internationalization, including:

  • Enhanced collaboration with foreign institutions: This includes student and faculty exchange programs, joint research initiatives, dual degree programs, and facilitating the integration of international students.
  • Industry partnerships: Collaborating with international HEIs can attract international students and faculty, and provide valuable industry insights.
  • Best practices from other countries: Learning from countries like Australia and the US can help India improve its international student experience and visa provisions.
  • Expansion to international locations: Establishing Indian universities abroad can further boost internationalization efforts.

While challenges exist, such as the concentration of international students in a few top institutions, India is committed to its internationalization goals. The government, universities, and industry bodies are working together to develop a world-class higher education system that attracts students from all over the globe.

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