The Indian education industry is one of the largest in the country with a market-size of 450 million students, projecting revenue of $50 million, annually. The Indian education sector is projected to grow by 15% during the period 2011- 2021. And, distance education universities as the education provider for the masses is all set to tap the potential of student market.
Considering that the major populace of India is young and the rise in distance education degrees, there is a huge potential for growth which is inviting foreign investors in this sector. The partnerships of distance education universities with foreign universities will chiefly target the higher education segment, to offer advanced programs, special skills training and sorts. Additionally, the focus is on evolving through innovative teaching methods to improve the quality of distance education universities and online education.
There has been a series of progressive developments to promote foreign investments in the sector and the passing of the Foreign Education Bill in 2010 has bolstered the initiatives in this direction. At present, there is a long line of tie-ups with foreign universities. To name a few, there is the MoU between Australia’s Deakin University with St. Xavier’s and KC College; the age-old collaboration between Rhode-island based Brown University and St. Stephen’s College in Delhi and many more. The Foreign education bill is a welcome move for foreign universities who are eager to provide education in India, which in turn will give Indian students the option of pursuing world-class programs, inland rather than going abroad for the same. Columbia University proposes to set up a center in New Delhi for its faculty and students to take up research in India. Similarly, Harvard business school is focused on setting up campus in India to conduct its executive education programs. Other universities keen on an Indian-base are the Yale University, Massachusetts institute of technology and the University of Boston.
In a globalized economy, projecting a dynamic industrial scenario, opening up the windows for foreign collaborations will help the Indian education system and therefore the distance education universities to achieve global standards in quality and spell affordability for executive programs. Leading the current series of key global partnerships, UGC and DEC recognized Sikkim Manipal University Distance Education has signed a MoU with Scotland-based Edinburgh Napier University. The partnership will help distance MBA students from SMUDE to pursue an MBA from the Scottish university at a price equal to only one semester fee. This apart, the university has taken forward many initiatives through its technology platform to ensure all-round learning for its students. Going beyond academics, the university has integrated other forms of training in its wide spectrum of PG, UG and diploma courses. Additionally, SMUDE has leveraged on technology in the best way to make its students job-ready in the global arena.