American University in Delhi?

India might open to foreign universities. That could be a game-changer:

And India’s higher education system badly needs shaking up. Setting aside issues of quality (as if those can be set aside), India does not come close to providing sufficient seats to those aspiring to higher education — a glaring shortcoming as India’s burgeoning middle class strives to prepare their children for the opportunities of the future.

India’s system has its successes, of course, but they are narrow. Just nine Indian higher education institutions made the top 500 of the most recent QS World University Rankings. The top one — the Indian Institute of Science (at 155) — is a highly specialized institution focused on postgraduate studies and research in the sciences. The other eight are part of the well-known Indian Institutes of Technology, which specialize in engineering. The highest-ranked comprehensive university was the University of Delhi, falling in the 520s.

That is simply not good enough. All told, India has just over 1,000 institutions of higher learning. China, with a similar population, has three times that. The United States, with a much smaller population, has four times as many.

This all sounds find, but India will replicate some of the US’s pathologies in the education sector. The “consumer model” of higher education has been causing serious problems here over the past few decades. The op-ed even states that “Private universities, too, are overly regulated and cannot operate for profit. That deters the best entrepreneurs from entering the sector.” Entrepreneurs entering the sector was a disaster, and for-profit colleges were a way to absorb student loans from the public fisc.

But I wish India well.

15 thoughts on “American University in Delhi?”

  1. I think the impact of higher education on career outcomes is overstated, apart from highly specialized areas like medicine or graduate school. High school GPAs tend to show stronger correlation to career earnings than college GPAs.

    Indian graduates, who are overwhelmingly not from the most talked about schools, have no problem securing and retaining employment in the US. And this success is not limited to just tech, there are lots of Indian workers now in American finance, management consulting and healthcare. The root of this success is good schooling in Indian English medium schools.

  2. Nice, more vectors for Brain-Drain/Human Capital flight.

    Indians century from now will laugh in embarrassment at the amount of people as explicit Policy that India sends abroad because it can not adequately provide for them at home. This is a failure not something to be proud off, esp when this persists for multi-generations/decades.

    Indian Govt regularly & voluntarily has high level/PM level talks with US/UK/EU on student/worker visas, it’s bonkers since this is essentially talks about commodifying & giving away of ones human capital, with the hopes that Remittances can be had (which India has topped for decades unsurprisingly as well).

    And since this has been going on since 60s itself (China only overtook India on this by early 2000s and they then stabilized & are now going to decline while India will keep its curve) & India barely has much to show for itself.

    Like if the objective is send Elite human capital abroad to learn and then a portion of them returns to create domestic scaled development then this clearly & objectively has failed since India is not where it should be after nearly 8 decades now.

    This is obviously good for the Individual (who leaves) of course, good education & then high earning and good social welfare for yourself and your family.
    This is not good for the Collective/State. It is not a compulsion or mutually inclusive thing for Individual & Collective to have same fates.

    1. India actually has very little migration per capita, and this isnt just a large base effect. Even other populated countries such as Bangladesh and Pakistan have orders of magnitude higher out migration.

      A lot of the elite migration to the US is more a pull factor. If you have the brains for tech and corporate, the US is the place to be.

      India’s scientific production and tech oriented exports have grown manifold in the last two decades when elite migration has been highest.

      Finally remittances are a fantastic source of forex, especially if distributed over a diverse set of locations. They are not prone to trade curbs, like usual exports are.

      Having said that, no Indian is joining Georgia Tech Jabalpur. We already learn English and these branches will not grant US labor market access.

  3. moron modi/bjp/rss . Their neglect of philosophy stops them from thinking through. U need good faculty to teach, u are unable to generate that, u also want to give reservation in faculties in teaching as well, including in iits and other prestigeous universties, so u instead now have to open urself to foreign universities. This is importing colonialism. well done modijimoronji. Cant focus on creating quality. so has to get quality from somewhere else.

  4. I fully trust the Indian Bureaucracy to thoroughly fuck this up and not let it happen. This is not the first time I am hearing of this. In 2009 (yes, 2009), there were plans for GaTech to set up a campus in India. What happened? Nothing. In the meantime, Dozens of UK universities have branches in China, Middleeast and even Africa.

    I am somewhat skeptical that this would change anything. This whole leapfrogging to a service economy without a proper Industrial base seems very fragile.

  5. I am not sure what the electoral drivers for this are? V1,v2 asking for it in the hope that reservations won’t apply in these institutions? This seems unlikely to happen. Even if govt/courts magically stay away from interfering with these schools, with the onset of woke affirmative ideology, the schools themselves will turbo charge quotas. It might even make the existing arrangements look benign.
    Other possibility could be subaltern folks who can’t afford or don’t want to send kids abroad for study but still want the foreign stamp.

  6. As an American, I would be willing to pack up and ship the entire Ivy League to India. It would be a win win. India would get well endowed colleges, and the US would be rid of huge chunks of wokeness.

  7. americans dont seem to realize, wokeness is a consequence of american imperialism. U want brown and asian workers and talent, want to enforce american led imperial world order, then u need to create and sustain coconuts, the price for that is wokism. U cant get brown and blacks to work against soverignity of their own countries and at same time be out rightly triumphialistic of american patriotism and western civilization.

    This has been the learning of american elite on downfall of british empire. cant pretend to be begnign and run an empire without giving a share, atleast to a tiny elite of black and brown people and accept some of the narrative change with it

    1. If only US rw figures realize this, they will know why their angst “invade the world, invite the world” does not get any traction with establishment.
      Similarly tucker Carlson for all his recent anti imperialism schtick was quick to jump on to “Brits built good classical buildings in IN, hence good” bandwagon.
      The wokeism also helps to drive a wedge between underrepresented minorities and model minorities and keep the latter in their place.

      1. Tucker Carlson’s positions are not inconsistent. If you’ve been following the alt-right or white nationalist discourse for a long time, they sing praises of British colonialism as an attempt to “civilize the savages” (that includes us). Now they think that Americans would be better off leaving the savages alone and having no contact with them as the quest to civilize them was hopeless and quixotic to begin with.

        (I’m caricaturing Carlson’s views, but I don’t think by too much, as I’m quite familiar with the alt-right discourse. I used to check out VDare and Stormfront even back in the early 2000s and this is what they used to say.

  8. This is quite the typical Delhi bureaucrat mentality to operate in only two lanes – either import or indulge in “import substitution” antics.

    The last three decades of professional education administration in the two South Indian states of Karnataka and Tamilnadu have formed the exact opposite dictum in strategy. To localise higher education in the hinterland by relaxing rules for educational entrepreneurs.

    It takes almost 60 years for local centers of excellence to arrive from obscurity to reputation. A long baking process.

  9. We really need to get out of this whole craze of foreign credentials. What will these foreign universities bring that local institutions can’t adapt from existing widely available best practices?
    Another pet peeve of mine is the term “knowledge transfer” that Indians even in tech use a lot. I mean if you haven’t realized that knowledge like power is always acquired or earned , never transferred then….

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