Higher Education Review Magazine

Higher Education Review ›› Magazine ›› June-2018 ›› Special issue

Internationalisation of Higher Education and Student Mobility

Author : Shaun Star, Assistant Professor and Assistant Dean, Jindal Global Law School

Shaun Star

Shaun Star, Assistant Professor and Assistant Dean Jindal Global Law School

For moulding Indian Higher Education institutions into an international standard, we need to take a broader perspective and change the focus from outbound student mobility to inbound student mobility – the responsibility for this change falls on the shoulders of universities and faculties. Globalisation has resulted in an increased demand for the internationalization of education. In Higher Education, this has taken the form of universities with campuses all over the world, international research collaborations between institutions and scholars, the development of an international curriculum and greater mobility of faculty and students.

Globalisation has brought about a change in the function of Higher Education, as universities have been charged with the task of equipping their graduates not just with subject skills and knowledge, but with the capabilities to function effectively in the modern world. In order to be competitive in this new global context, students need to graduate with a global mindset, the ability to function in and communicate across cultures, and with the all-important plethora of 21st Century skills. One increasingly popular way to develop this cross-cultural and multi-jurisdictional skill-set that is gaining traction in Higher Education across the globe is student mobility or study abroad programmes.

Having international students on campus has a direct impact on the internationalization and cultural diversity of Indian Higher Education Institutions



There are many forms which study abroad takes; from full degree programs undertaken in overseas institutions, to a year or semester-long international exchange programs, summer schools, short-term internships, and cultural immersion programs. Over the past decade, we have witnessed many institutions building an international office or team that focus specifically on developing and creating opportunities for student mobility. Traditionally, in the Indian context, however, student mobility is most often seen with Indian students going to countries such as the United States of America, the United Kingdom or Australia to complete all or part of their degree.

For example, in the year 2017, 70,000 Indian students were pursuing a degree in Australia. In addition to this, some Indian universities offer outbound short-term mobility programmes which allow students to undertake student exchange, internships or summer schools in other countries. While these opportunities for Indian students are integral to the internationalization of India's higher education sector, in order to become truly international, India needs to take advantage of its rising status in the global world order and increase the inbound opportunities for international students from other countries.

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