Plans by the Indian government of introducing
more-practice oriented higher education are becoming real.
According to the Indian Express, about 100 community colleges
will open their doors in a year from now. This comes as an effort
to counter the country's significant skill shortage.
Three months ago, a report attracted widespread attention analyzing
that "India's higher education challenge lies at the difficult
trinity of enrollment, access and employability. Community colleges
could be an important innovation. This mezzanine layer of two-year
programmes could increase enrollment by 8 million from small towns,
unorganised workers and the traditionally disadvantaged."
Cooperation with U.S.
To introduce this extra layer, an Indian delegation visited the
U.S. recently. "We've been supportive and encouraging of the Indian
interest in implementing a community college system that's right
for India. As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in her recent
speech at the US-India Higher Education Dialogue, 'I believe
community colleges are one of the reasons, often unheralded, that
the United States has been so successful'," a U.S. official
involved in the project commented.
India is not the only BRIC looking westward for approaches
fostering innovation. Recently, a delegation of 20 Chinese
universities convened with their Dutch counterparts in
Rotterdam. Main point on the agenda: fostering ties to increase
cooperation in higher education and research.