India’s new National Education Policy (NEP) has granted a “license to innovate” to foreign universities, according to Michael Wesley, Deputy Chancellor, University of Melbourne.
“We see the NEP as a license for innovation. I think prior to the NEP, the ability to do creative things with Indian partners was much more limited mainly by government policy. If you take a broad look at the NEP, it’s really India that puts a flag in the sand and says India wants to build one of the best higher education sectors in the world, “Wesley told PTI in an interview.
“We want Indian institutions to work with institutions around the world to enable us to get there faster and to do so in the time it takes to develop this world-class education system in India. to the demand that India has for higher education and that is why we have studied NEP very closely, “he added.
Wesley was in Delhi last week, leading the first major foreign delegation sent by the University of Melbourne post COVID-19.
The new NEP launched in 2020 paves the way for foreign universities to set up campuses in India, that the top 100 universities of the world will be “facilitated” to operate in the country by a new law.
The Cabinet-approved NEP is only the third major renewal of India’s education framework since independence. The two previous education policies were introduced in 1968 and 1986.
In addition to opening up Indian higher education to foreign players, the new policy marks a major shift in the format of undergraduate education with the reintroduction of the four-year multidisciplinary bachelor’s program, with exit options.
The University of Melbourne currently has more than 2000 Indian students. According to Wesley, the interest of Indian students to study in Australia and in Melbourne in particular, if anything, has increased during the Covid period.
“We wanted to be the first to signal to India how important we are in our relationship with the country. It happens to be almost exactly the halfway point in our involvement in India’s strategy. That that strategy was launched by our Vice-Chancellor here in India. at the High Commission three years ago, in August 2019.
“We have really lost a lot of time through COVID because borders have been closed. We have not been able to really carry out much of our involvement in India’s plan. And this is really our signal that we will work really hard. run to ensure that we develop the relationships that joint research and the joint degree programs we have signaled in ‘dealing with India plan’ and will really really push hard on that plan, ”he added.
The unveiling of a blended Academy with the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU), which is a partnership for the Bachelor of Science program, Melbourne India Postgraduate Academy, which is a collaboration with the Indian Institute of Science, were the two major programs on the delegation’s agenda.
“There are a variety of potentially innovative ways in which we can collaborate with Indian institutions to help build their capacity, but also to deepen our interests in India, as we also explore collaborative agreements with a variety of universities in India. India, in fact the University of Melbourne is a great institution.
“It has nearly 10,000 staff, it has 11 faculties and each of the faculties has its own distinct relationships with various Indian universities. And that we are looking to build on those very strong networks of links that we need to further increase our collaboration with Indian institutions, “added Wesley.