Could the flow of Indian students to Australian universities dry up?

It seems the flow of Indian students to Australia will dry up as India raises the standard of its own higher education system – this is the view from no less than the NITI Aayog, the government’s leading think tank.

This means Australian universities will have to work harder to have a presence in India – reforms have happened and more is to come. Collaboration and joint education of a student could be the way of the future. As we reported in an earlier blog, RMIT University is one pioneer of this approach.

“The present relationship of only sending students to Australia is not a sustainable one. Australia needs to look at this in a very creative and innovative manner.” Amitabh Kant, chief executive, National Institution for Transforming India. Christopher Pearce

The comment came from the chief executive of the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI), Amitabh Kant.

Why could the supply of Indian students dry up? One main reason is India is determined to improve the quality of its own universities and colleges. Improvements could happen within 3 to 5 years, so it is an urgent issue for Australia.

“It’s important for Australian universities at this stage to collaborate with India’s universities to do joint courses and build up alternative business models.”

Mr Kant, who is one of the top planning advisers to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said the first stage of reform involved deregulating India’s top-60 universities and allowing them to charge fees, hire staff and create courses without any official intervention. The aim was to create universities of global standing, similar to Harvard and Stanford.

Since India would eventually train most its own graduates, it would be better to be part of the changes in India and not just charging fees to students to come to Australia.

What does Mr Kant recommend? As a first step do joint courses and degrees, and take a stake in Indian campuses.

So there it is – right from the top.


Author: Stephen Manallack

Former President, Australia India Business Council, Victoria and Author, You Can Communicate; Riding the Elephant; Soft Skills for a Flat World (published by Tata McGraw-Hill INDIA); Communicating Your Personal Brand. Director, EastWest Academy Pty Ltd and Trainer/Speaker/Mentor in Leadership, Communication and Cross Cultural Communication. Passionate campaigner for closer western relations with India. Stephen Manallack is a specialist on “Doing Business with India” and advisor/trainer on “Cross-Cultural Understanding”. He is a Director of EastWest Academy Pty Ltd which provides strategic advice and counsel regarding business relations with India. A regular speaker in India on leadership and global communication, his most recent speaking tour included a speech to students of the elite Indian university, Amity University, in Noida. He also spoke at a major Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) global summit, the PR Consultants Association of India in Delhi, the Symbiosis University in Pune and Cross-Cultural Training for Sundaram Business Services in Chennai. He has visited India on business missions on 10 occasions and led three major trade missions there. He provides cross-cultural training – Asia and the west.

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