November 23, 2020.
TED NewsDesk, New Delhi: The concept of globalisation began in the ancient era, where the influx of people and ideas occurred throughout the world via various means of transportation. Nalanda University, which was established around the fifth century CE, attracted pupils and scholars from countries like Korea, Japan, China, Tibet, Indonesia, Persia and Turkey. With quality education offered in some prime institutions in various parts of the world, people began to migrate both for educational and employment purposes.
Thus, internationalisation of higher education is the process of integrating an international, intercultural, or global dimension into the purpose, functions or delivery of post-secondary education (Knight, 2003).
Earlier, opportunities to go abroad were mostly available to the wealthy and to those who could secure scholarships, which were limited and highly competitive. As globalisation rose and many international conferences were hosted in western countries, there was a movement of academicians and researchers to share and gain expertise. Beyond doubt, such interaction encompassed excitement, and every bit learnt there was internalised and implemented at the individual and institutional levels on their return. While some of these were brought to fruition, many forgot their unique international experience soon after they returned home. This involves the purposeful integration of international and intercultural dimensions into the formal and informal curriculum for students within domestic learning environments (Beelen, 2015).
In response to domestic lack of opportunities with cross-cultural experiences, schools, colleges and universities have developed on-campus efforts to promote a global student identity. It was inclusive of internationalising the curriculum, developing intercultural research projects, collaborating with local minority groups, and encouraging interactions with international students.
During the ongoing pandemic, with impossible travel restrictions, the global approach became highly relevant and useful. Experts were invited to deliver talks and webinars on topics of their specialisation virtually to students and faculty. Thus, bringing in equity in knowledge-sharing, irrespective of the geographical location and social and economic differences.
International students are often encouraged to experience a stay in the home of a local student or professor from the host institution to experience the different facets of life-related areas such as food, culture, traditions, and habits in that part of the state/country.
An internationalised curriculum with relevant information ingrained in existing courses will engage students with informed research capacity, cultural and linguistic diversity, and purposefully develop a global perspective. Since we live in a globalised world, this virtue is crucial as people now move freely across countries without hindrances. This aspect will provide the necessary boost for students’ capacity to handle challenging matters with confidence and success.
Due to the high fees collected from international students, the economic status of these institutions is likely to improve (in 2019, nearly 7.5 lakhs Indian students studied abroad, spending almost $7 billion). Further on the academic front, such collaborations aim to enhance teaching abilities and fill in the language gap and cross-cultural collaborations. Social connections among local and international students will also foster cultural amalgamation and cross-border cultural exchanges.
Benefits to students:
As a result of internationalisation at home, local students derive many benefits such as improved interpersonal relationships, enhanced spoken and communication skills, an improved ability to articulate, increased self-confidence and self-esteem, visible teamwork and, overall improvement and change in outlook.
In the context of our National Education Policy 2020 (NEP 2020), one of the prime areas of focus is internationalisation, which is bound to scale up the quality of Indian Higher Education shortly. The NEP is expected to deal with aspects like a larger number of international students choosing India for higher studies. It is ready to provide greater mobility to Indian students in prominent institutions overseas, transfer of credits, joint research programmes and sharing of multiple resources amongst themselves.
Source: The Hindu