Bringing The World Home

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Since Indian universities continue to remain inflexible when it comes to their curriculum, we’ve seen Indian students y out of the country in search for a better education. Neeti Vijaykumar explores the pros and cons of international universities that tie up with Indian universities

In this age of globalization, with increasing connectivity, distances remain only physical. Gradually, we are seeing the world integrate into one entity. In what can only be a boon for us, even education systems around the world are adapting to this trend, instead of remaining independent of and oblivious to other academic cultures. While many of us y out to other countries in search of a better education,
there remains a large chunk of the urban population who choose otherwise – be it for financial reasons or general apprehension. Therefore, in order to combat such impediments, some Indian academic institutions have started to make an effort to bring to the Indian students a solution by introducing joint
degree programmes, affiliations and student exchanges with International universities.

1) Affiliations
The entire curriculum of the partner university is offered to students through aliations. Students are offered the option of finishing the last one or two years before graduation at the foreign campus itself.
Examples:
• Indian School of business and finance, Delhi with London School of Economics
• Podar International School, Mumbai with London School of Economics
• Russel Square, Mumbai with London School of Economics
• Russel Square, Mumbai with Royal Holloway of UK
• Indian School of Design, Mumbai with Parsons School of Design, New York
• SVKM, Mumbai with Kingston, UK

2) Joint degree programmes
In these programs, students work on attaining two degrees from two universities simultaneously at one institute. is helps them procure two degrees in a relatively shorter period.
Examples:
• IIT, Delhi with Tokyo University of Japan
• IIT, Madras with National University of Singapore

3) Other forms of collaborations
These include exchange programmes, summer school sessions, and other collaborations which allow interactions with foreign universities.
Examples:
• Women’s Christian College in Chennai has an American transfer programme with Concordia College in New York that allows students to complete two years of an undergraduate degree in WCC, do one-and-a-half years at Concordia, and get an international degree.
• Loyola College’s arrangement with the London South Bank University and Lille Catholic University in France allows students to get an MSc in international business or a BBA degree from these universities after completing part of their studies in Chennai.
• Chitkara University (in Haryana, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh) has numerous aliations with foreign universities they like to call ‘partner universities’ with whom then, students can go for the last one to two years to complete their graduation, or undertake student exchanges, semester exchanges and summer school sessions.

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Not a direct substitute

Receiving world-class curriculum at your very own doorstep may seem impeccable, but it too holds its own disadvantages. A part of the experience of studying abroad is physically displacing yourself to a new environment, where you get to interact with people from all walks of life and increase your knowledge of the world, its people and their respective cultures. Such interactions are only possible in more liberal countries, where due to the reputation of their universities, multifarious people flock to continue their higher studies. is exposure cannot be delivered by simply undertaking a foreign curriculum. And hence the two forms of education are not direct substitutes to one another.

Inept infrastructure and facilities
The universities which our Indian institutions are partnering with have very adept campuses. is, in juxtaposition with facilities provided here, is a huge contrast. Having said that, a few university campuses in North India do have magnanimous precincts; however, there yet remains a discrepancy in the quality of facilities provided by international and Indian universities.
Furthermore, being a part of a foreign university gives you numerous invaluable opportunities such as student clubs or guest lecturers usually proceeded by enlightening discussions. While Indian institutes are trying to adopt varying methods of parting knowledge, the process has been quite slow and rather
inefficient. To top this, the Indian faculty members at such institutions are usually undergoing their own training while they teach the students. Therefore most of our teachers here are not able to meet the quality standards of teaching in the foreign partner university.

Not all in vain
Nonetheless, while this form of an education for undergraduate and post graduate degrees are not even close to direct substitutes to education abroad, it proves to be a comparatively cheaper alternate for those who are not willing to spend exorbitant sums of money by going overseas. e curriculum itself is much better than those offered by Indian universities and hence may turn out to be beneficial for those students
who are zealous about learning more.

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Joining Hands for Education

Weschool, Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research, situated in Mumbai and Bengaluru, collaborates with leading Universities across the globe for student and faculty exchange programs, research initiatives, training for faculty and special initiatives in areas such as design and innovation and healthcare among others. Some of the Universities are MIT Media Lab, USA, Malardalen
University, Sweden, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark. Prof Deepa Dixit, Associate Dean, tells us more

How are university affliations different from joint degree programs?
A Univeristy affilation would essentially mean the Institute will conduct the program but the degree is awarded by the affiliating University. The program is also designed and its delivery and exam standards run as prescribed by the University that awards the Degree. A Joint Degree program is one where the two institutions who are authorised to give a degree come together and jointly agree to accept the design and delivery of a program and they jointly award a degree to the student undertaking such a program. In most joint degree programs, the student does part of the program at one institution and the other part with the second institution.

How effective is this system of university tie-ups and affiliations, from the perspective of a student? Is it as good as going abroad to study?
Today’s world is one that works on collaborative principles, be it economic, humanitarian or in science and research. Hence a program that brings in the wisdom and pedagogy of two good systems will certainly be beneficial. While the student going to another country will have its own advantages, with us becoming more and more global,programs offered jointly also bring in international faculty and use of ICT
bridges many gaps that may have been there earlier.

In brief, what are the pros and cons of taking up courses from colleges affiliated with international universities?
The pros would be access to collaborative and international curriculum and pedagogy, opportunity to study new areas and learn things which may not always be a possibility in traditional programs, interact with faculty from varied cultures and also the advantage of the degree being recognized across borders.
The cons would be that the international university is lesser known or the universities are not properly recognized in their own home country and hence there is no advantage that the student gets at the end. Alternatively the program is too highly priced and the opportunities aer completion do not justify the
investment.

What important points should students keep in mind while applying for these courses? What factors – such as recognition by universities, mode of learning, etc – should they ensure?
Some of the key factors that the student should look for are 1) Recognition of the University in their home country (check the authority that grants these recognitions) 2) The Ranking or standing of the University, the number of students studying at the University, how old is the University are important factors 3) Check if the program being offered in collaboration is new or has been offered in the home university 4) Share the syllabus and curriculum with some subject expert in your own country and if there are local options, check what is the value addition this joint program provides 5) Check the profile of the faculty and possibly write to them to see the academic support and lastly 6) Check for the fees and compare with the type of opportunities you are likely to get on completion.

Spreading wings online

An online education institute, Jaro Education has tied up with international institutions and universities to get the latest and the best in International MBA courses from across the globe. Dr Vaijayanti Pandit, Senior Vice President, gives us the details

What kind of affiliations, joint degree programs or collaborations do you offers with international universities?
With its innovative modes of imparting education, the online MBA programs have been widely accepted by working professionals, students and entrepreneurs. It offers International MBA (1 year) and International Executive MBA (9 months) in collaboration with world’s leading educational institutions. 1. Ural Federal University, Russia- ranked 6th in Russia and is among the top 500 universities worldwide; according to the QS world university ranking 2012

2. Ulyanovsk State University, Russia – ranked 23rd amongst 600 Universities in Russia.
3. United Business Institutes, (UBI) Belgium – ranked amongst the top European Business Schools.

How are university affiliations different from joint degree programs?
Generally, University affiliation programs sign an MoU for Faculty and student exchanges programs. This enables the faculty to learn new and different teaching methodologies and exposes students to the international horizon which in itself is a big learning. Besides, there are information exchange and joint initiatives, such as workshops, exhibitions and training programs. The syllabus is designed and developed by Jaro Education, it is ratified by the respective university. Aer completing the program, passing the online exam, the student gets an international degree.

How effective is this system of university tie-ups and affiliations, from the perspective of a student? Is it as good as going abroad to study?
Yes, this is extremely satisfying and fulfilling for the students because they are mostly working professionals. The international degrees are well received and they are respected by the industry. Going abroad to study is an education by itself as it inculcates independence, tolerance to hardships, exposure to the diverse international cultures and develops maturity which is a step above the online international degree.

In brief, what are the pros and cons of taking up courses from colleges affiliated with international universities?
It is always good to opt for international degrees and courses with global affiliations but with due diligence. However IIMs IIT’s, National School of Design,( NSD) enjoy a better ranking than any of their international counterparts.

What important points should students keep in mind while applying for these courses? What factors– such as recognition by universities, mode of learning, etc – should they ensure?
Every country has its own procedure of recognition. For example Indian degrees need to be affiliated to recognised universities and approved by regulatory bodies like UGC / AICTE. In India, universities recognised by the Government and having a stamp of approval from the regulatory bodies are more respected and recognised, private universities do not have that recognition. Online mode is the cost eective and ecientway of staying above the competition while still on the job!

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Born Free But Still In Chains?

As we celebrate Independence Day this month, we ask a few students to tell us what they think is true freedom in India today. Is our country ‘free’? Are we still strapped into society’s traditional obligations, restraining our right to make our own decisions? Or are we taking the idea of freedom a bit too far, assuming that it means we can say or do as we deem fit?

Charmi Bheda (College Graduate, 20)
What does eedom mean to you?
Even though it completely changes the meaning of freedom, in India as long as you’re at par with your society and have their support you have the freedom to do as you see fit.

Sanya Ambegaokar (Student, 20)
Is India really free?
Rules are important to maintain order and avoid chaos. However, I don’t think there’s the required kind of freedom in India. We live in fairly a modern city compared to the rest of the places in India, but we have no clue what goes on outside. Not that living in the modern city has assured any of us the freedom we think we deserve. I guess there will always be some constraints when you live in India.

Sachin Someshwar
Sachin Someshwar (Student, 21)

Is India really free?
We sure are free when it comes to independence from the British rule but we still are lacking the freedom that we rightly secure in the world amongst other nations.

Akash Gholap (College Graduate, 20)
Is India really free?
India is only free from the British who ruled for 150 years. But it’s not really free from the evil society which is ready to kill each other for power and status. From demanding our rights which we deserve as per the constitution to being stuck with corruption, rape, murders, money laundering and much more, India is really not a free country.

What does eedom mean to you?
The freedom to choose and take decisions which is favourable to me and my country. Freedom means to live in a country where people like you and me can travel hassle free anywhere and everywhere.

Punya Suri (Student, 17)
Is India really free?
No, I believe India isn’t a free country. Our belief and value systems are constantly trying to be altered, as are our habits, and most importantly, our sexuality. Being run by politicians and the ‘powerful’, India is more attuned to the system of patriarchy and hence has a very stunted opinion on the freedom of women.

What does freedom mean to you?
To me, freedom means to openly accept who you are as a person, to be accepted no matter what your caste, creed, gender, race or sexuality; to have a platform for expressing yourself at all times, without being thrown behind the bars for it; to be who you are and to become what you’ve always dreamed to be.

Priyanka gawli
Priyanka Gawli (College Graduate, 21)

Is India really free?
No, I don’t think India is really free. Freedom has to be conditional; there is nothing like ‘absolute freedom’. It will be foolish of us to interpret freedom as the right to do whatever we feel like.

What does freedom mean to you?
It is imperative for every society to delineate boundaries of an individual’s freedom. I don’t want to compare, but United States is considered freest country not only because it is rich but because of its philosophy of freedom that assumes that individuals have rights. This is what I expect as this is what freedom means to me.

Aditya Dixit (Student, 18)
Is India really free?
A country comprises its people; the nature of its people best denes the country. I had asked a similar question to Anurag Kashyap during a college event; I asked him about how free individuals were in India, as the opinion of the individuals shall sum up the image of the country’s opinion. “You are as free as you think you are,” he said, and I couldn’t agree more. It’s all on you; it’s all on how you want it to be. I consider myself fortunate to have had him share with us this snippet of freedom, a power present in most of his films, and most importantly in his own life.

What does freedom mean to you?
India as a country comes with its own share of virtues and shortcomings, but in the long run the basic element of the freedom does not change on a major level. However certain distinguishable points such as – having a say in your marital decisions, freedom of profession, free of excessive bureaucracy and freedom from orthodox social evil – would characterize freedom in India. While there has been certainly been an improvement towards the positive, we have a long way to go.

 

Volume 5 Issue 2

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