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Why do we need a Collaborative Degree?

By Dr. Deependra Kumar Jha, Vice Chancellor of G.D. Goenka University, Gurgaon | Thursday, 15 Dec 2016, 06:17 IST
India has made its presence felt in terms of economic success and modernization. However, the Achilles’ heel for the nation has been its weak higher education sector. Despite investing heavily in higher education, the country has fallen short on certain fronts like world class research, trained scientists, scholars and managers to sustain high-tech development. Many Asian universities are among the top institutions in the world while no Indian University is able to make it in the top 200. High quality institutes and centers are very small in number (limited to IITs and IIMs and some others) considering the massive population. A large number of graduates from these institutes choose to pursue advanced degree or else move out for a good career abroad than contributing to the burgeoning technology sector in India.

For a long time, India has survived with an increasing number of mediocre higher education institutes. In order to compete in the global market, there is a need for standardized higher education. India cannot afford brain drain any more. We need enough colleges and universities to support sophisticated research in various fields. Academic collaboration between the Indian and foreign institutions is an effective way to meet the rapidly growing Indian educational needs. As all educational institutes aim to prepare their graduates to compete in the global economy, these collaborations can contribute to this goal by providing the students and the faculty members the international exposure and a global perspective.

The Indian regulatory authorities do not recognize the degrees awarded by foreign universities for collaborative programs run in India. Only the Indian institute can award the degree for the program run in collaboration with a foreign university. This does not mean that collaborations with foreign universities offer no value instead these lead to higher standards and better facilities. To meet the standard set by the foreign partners, the collaborating institutes ensure the world-class quality of classrooms, laboratories, libraries, computing and conference halls and so on. They also ensure that the faculty members have rich experience and exposure. Student/faculty exchange and semester/year abroad are important features of such programs where the students not only earn credits abroad but also gain interpersonal skills by interacting with different cultures. Further, curriculum mapping and credit transfer means that the syllabus is advanced, and up to date.

A collaborative degree means two universities at one place. This leads to an international exposure and networking.  This increase in exposure and network helps students both during and after the education. Companies warmly approach the students with such global experience. The bottom line is that the collaborative degree programs help in expanding the knowledge and experience of a student. Today the world is highly competitive and there is a requirement for applicants who are different and able to create their own space and an international collaborative degree is one of the best ways
to do so. 


February 2018
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