India looks west for vocational HE

Nieuws | de redactie
11 juli 2012 | To tackle its skill shortage, India is set to open 100 community colleges in 2013. Inspiration is found in America’s vocational HE institutes.

Plans by the Indian government of introducingmore-practice oriented higher education are becoming real.According to the Indian Express, about 100 community collegeswill open their doors in a year from now. This comes as an effortto counter the country’s significant skill shortage.

Three months ago, a report attracted widespread attention analyzingthat “India’s higher education challenge lies at the difficulttrinity of enrollment, access and employability. Community collegescould be an important innovation. This mezzanine layer of two-yearprogrammes 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 theU.S. recently. “We’ve been supportive and encouraging of the Indianinterest in implementing a community college system that’s rightfor India. As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in her recentspeech at the US-India Higher Education Dialogue, ‘I believecommunity colleges are one of the reasons, often unheralded, thatthe United States has been so successful’,” a U.S. officialinvolved in the project commented.

India is not the only BRIC looking westward for approachesfostering innovation. Recently, a delegation of 20 Chineseuniversities convened with their Dutch counterparts inRotterdam. Main point on the agenda: fostering ties to increasecooperation in higher education and research.

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