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Alex. papers ic p. saha

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    Alex. papers ic p. saha Alex. papers ic p. saha Document Transcript

    • Pijushkanti SAHA Vice-chancellor, University of North Bengal, Darjeeling, India Introduction Speech Working Group B: Institutional Strategies of Education (Objectives, Approaches and Key Actors) IAU International Conference Alexandria, Egypt 15-16 November 2005SummaryHigher education in India is mostly public funded, nearly eighty percent contributed from the stateexchequer. Since 1992 the scenario had been changing, resulting in drop of public funding.Globalization exercises a great control in cutting subsidies to many social benefit programsincluding higher education. The effects of globalization are not only economic, also manifested insocial, cultural, environmental and political instruments. The four modes for trades in serviceshave envisaged a new vista of education – be it a transnational or international education, aninternational service vendor delivering the domestic provider exported education across theterritorial jurisdiction. New types of providers, new programs, new modes of deliveries, newfinancial arrangements, new partnerships are emerging. In many cases such arrangements lackquality control and provide sub-standard education by non-accredited institutions. Even in thedeveloped states of Europe, new profit-monger operators have entered the field of highereducation in recent years and new cross-border delivery methods have been developed. Suchdevelopment has contravened the basic principles of Lisbon Recognition Convention. In terms ofGATT rules and regulations the developed countries are earning much foreign currency providingeducation services to foreign students. The balance of trade favors the nations like U.S.A.,Australia, U.K., France and Germany. The higher education in global context has beenincreasingly transformed into transnational education. The paradigm shift in internet-basededucation, branch campuses and ‘franchising’ has caused both threats and opportunities inhigher education in India. There is a substantial risk that Indian universities and their studentscould end up as serious losers in the global higher education game. This situation is global,experienced by many countries of the world, particularly the developing countries like India.Apparently it seems that in the face of LPG and WTO regime the middle class has been placed ina driving seat to reap highest benefit from the New Education System. Contrary, a deeperintrospection would reveal a different scenario that not the middle class but the corporate actorshave been the principal beneficiaries. There is boom in the domination of market capital in highereducation. The market force in many cases deviates from the quality assurance, particularly inthe countries, where the government play subservient roles and become an appendage to theprivate actors. Many providers not recognized and accredited in their own country are enteringthe market and deceive the students with hoax promises. However, no body denies thechallenging role of cross-border education imparting skill and quality through global competition,but the system demands strict vigilance by the stakeholders, particularly by the universityassociations enhancing consumer protection in cross-border education related to qualityassurance, accreditation and recognition of qualifications. It is imperative to devise models by theassociations, help the member institutions traversing the pathways for gainful knowledge pooland skilled manpower development in a knowledge society.IAU International Conference 1
    • ContextI. ‘Cross-Border Higher Education’ has the global context and is linked toL.P.G.Globalization usually means the creation of global systems where what happensin one part of the world affects people and places everywhere on the globe. Thedefinition is very simple and related with one order philosophy. This may beassociated with hegemony of one single system, what was intended by the Nazisin the thirties.In nature such hegemony does not exist, where diversity is the rule. In anyecosystem diversity ensures the sustenance of life. On spatial context regionaldevelopment is considered a key to growth and progress, as the distribution ofresources on earth’s surface is not uniform. The form of institutions also variesfrom place to place. Even technology varies regionally. The science isconsidered universal, the technology local.The globalization is considered to be economic process aided by technologicaltools. But the effects of globalization are not only economic, also manifested insocial, cultural, environmental and political instruments. Economic globalization isthe elitist agenda of wealth concentration that inherently is unable to benefit themasses. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), World TradeOrganization (WTO), Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), EuropeanUnion and other so called trade agreements are not really about trade, but theyhave other objectives to reap all resources of the developing countries. Theseagreements are the result of concerted, well organized, well funded and largelysecret efforts to convert the rules of global commerce to strengthen and securethe rights of corporations and financial institutions to go wherever, and dowherever, and do whatever, is needed to quick buck at the cost of people. Theypursue a hidden agenda in collaboration with the subservient governments andcomprador classes to craft what may be the most anti-democratic, anti-people,anti-community international agreement ever conceived by supposedlydemocratic governments - ‘the Multilateral Agreement on Investment’. Such‘Corporate Rule Treaty’ is being drafted by, and for, transnational corporations toprohibit any national or local self-government from establishing performance oraccountability standards for foreign investors. With such deregulation andglobalization the power of the government and union decline and the rights ofglobal transnational corporations and financial authorities are placed above thoseof people and countries in international law. They remain beyond any publicaccountability. Day by day the largest corporations tend to consolidate the powerthrough mergers, acquisitions, and strategic alliances. The situation is reallyalarming.IAU International Conference 2
    • II. GATS defines the form of Cross Border EducationDuring the Uruguay Round of GATS a consensus was reached that trade inservices be covered under a multilateral agreement in view of the substantialgrowth of services and the shift in the composition of GNP of major countries infavor of the service sector. Under WTO two areas were specified for multilateralagreement - I. Trade in goods and merchandise and II. Trade in services.The objective of GATS is to establish a multilateral framework for services similarto trade in goods involving reduction in tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade. Theagreement will pave the pathway for progressive liberalization of trade in servicesincluding education sector leading to liberalization, privatization & globalization(LPG).WTO has recognized four modes of trade in education that receive legalprotection by GATS: 1. Cross-border Supply: This ensures the supply of services across national borders, from the territory of one country to the territory of another. Distance education using print media or any other study materials is being propagated across the national border or via the Internet on line. 2. Consumption Abroad: This involves the movement of a consumer of service to another country in getting the service. A student going abroad for higher education is included in this category. 3. Commercial Presence: This means the presence of a service provider (foreign) in another country (host). Many foreign institutions from the west without any accreditation are now serving in the developing countries including India. 4. Movement of Natural Persons: This indicates the presence of an individual from one country to another in providing his services. This amounts to export of skilled human resource to another country.The four modes for trades in services have envisaged a new vista of education –be it a transnational or international education, an international service vendordelivering the domestic provider exported education across the territorialjurisdiction. The movement of people for higher education had long beenrecognized, where students, teachers and scholars of a country used to moveacross the border to gain or deliver knowledge. But the export of projects,programs and services were unconceivable. The role of providers was absentand elements of commerce not included in the program. Education remainedoutside the purview of commerce. New types of providers, new programs, newmodes of deliveries, new financial arrangements, new partnerships areemerging. In many cases such arrangements lack quality control and providesub-standard education by non-accredited institutions.IAU International Conference 3
    • III. The Operators play the role of profit mongersEven in the developed states of Europe, new profit-monger operators haveentered the field of higher education in recent years and new cross-borderdelivery methods have been developed. Such development has contravened thebasic principles of Lisbon Recognition Convention.Lisbon Recognition Convention states : 1. The partners to this convention are conscious of the fact that right to education is a human right, and that higher education is a cultural and scientific asset for both individual and society. 2. The great diversity of education system in the European region reflects its cultural, social, political, religious and economic diversity, an exceptional asset that should be fully respected.The 1995 GATS under WTO defines rules for global market that also includeseducational services. How can a European higher education space based oninternational standards and conventions in higher education coexist with globaltrading rules?IV. India loses the gameIn terms of GATS rules and regulations the developed countries are earningmuch foreign currency providing education services to foreign students. Thebalance of trade is in favor of the most favored nations like U.S.A., Australia,U.K., France and Germany. In 1992-93 the U.S.A. earned US$6.1 billion throughenrollment of 4,38,000 students. In 2000 the earning was raised to US$10 billionwith 5,14,000 students on its educational campuses. In 2000 Australia gainedeconomic benefit with an income of Aus$3.2 billion. In 1995 the internationaltrade in higher education through consumption abroad amounted to about US$27billion, which was raised to nearly US$41billion in the next five years. In 1996 theexport of education services ranked fifth amongst the services exported byU.S.A. Interestingly fifty eight percent of the export was to Asian countries like,India, Japan and Korea.India happens to be the third largest country in higher education with nearly7.418 million students in about 300 universities/deemed universities. India is noless developed than many countries of the world in higher education. But the roleof India in exporting services for trade appears to be poor. India exported US$4.6billion services in 1990 and US$11.1 in 1998. The trade in services in India maybe assessed from the following table. Year India World India’s India India NetIAU International Conference 4
    • Exports ($b) Exports ($b) Share (in Imports ($b) Exports ($b) percent) 1,990 4.6 802.2 0.57 5.9 -1.3 1,993 5 959.5 0.53 6.4 -1.4 1,996 7 1,257 0.56 10 -3 1,999 13.2 1,340 0.99 17.3 -4.1Source : EPW, September 1, 2001, p 3352It is revealed though there had been marginal rise in export of services as tradefrom 1990 to 1999 (0.57% to 0.99%), the net effect was negative (-4.1 billion).V. Globalization poses both -‘Threat or Opportunity’The higher education in global context has been increasingly transformed intotransnational education. The paradigm shift in internet-based education, branchcampuses, ‘franchising’ has caused both threats and opportunities in highereducation in India. In global market place the Indian universities are confrontedwith uneven competition from outside. In many cases the consumer attitudes ofthe students and their guardians for a foreign degree lead us to a black hole. Notnecessarily all the foreign institutions accredited, but attract students with falsepromises through their franchisers. We understand our difficulties in providingappropriate technologies, but our teaching and learning processes are not lessworthy. Certainly there has been a digital divide due to lack of capital investmentfrom the state sector, wherein the private enterprises are invading to take theadvantage. “There is a substantial risk that Indian universities and their studentscould end up as serious losers in the global higher education game” (Arnold,2001).GATS may influence the national authority, intervene the regulated highereducation systems, and have unforeseen consequences on public subsidies forhigher education. It may also create a digital divide in higher education leading tosocial instability. Both the European University Association (EUA) and NationalUnion of Students in Europe (ESIB) have taken a critical stand on trade ineducation services. Even American University Organizations opposed to GATSin many respects, particularly in degrading the quality of education. In India, AllIndia Federation of University & College Teachers’ Organizations (AIFUCTO) hasexpressed their concern for penetration of substandard providers of highereducation in the name of globalization. Association of Indian Universities (AIU)has called attention of the government and University Grants Commission to takeappropriate action for a check on uncontrolled service provider in highereducation in India.Regional case studies by UNESCO have indicated the dangers posed by newproviders, operating without appropriate government supervision and providinglow quality educational services while aiming at maximum profit, undermining theIAU International Conference 5
    • equality of access to higher education, lack of protection to students, includingthe cognition of qualifications. In a country like India the dangers are probablygreater, where the instruments of control are either absent or weak.IssuesI. Commercial presence is significantIn India and other developing countries the demand for higher education hasbeen ever increasing. Only 8 percent of the eligible age group students could beenrolled for higher education in India. So the market is vast and open for theoperators in cross-border education. Moreover, the students are lured for qualityeducation from the foreign actors through franchise. Trans-national players takeadvantage of this situation and get large part of the profit from such operation.More than 80 foreign operators now have their presence in India offering degreesand diplomas in professional subjects. Some of the operators have set up theirown campuses and many others go for tie-up with private Indian collaboratorslike Tata Infotech, NIIT, Indian School of Business etc.II. Access and Equity are deniedThe National Policy on education, 1986 emphasized education to be - i) A process of empowerment, which is to be promoted through the development of knowledge, skills and values (Education for Development), and ii) An instrument of social change that provides means for upward economic and social mobility (Education for Equality).To maintain this scenario in higher education, i.e. provision of access andpromotion of equity, public funding is increasingly demanded. At present thecentral government funding has been trickling and in the coming years financialstringency is likely to be deepened. With the advent of GATS and theliberalization of the trade in services, and consequently with the entry of privateand foreign providers education will no more be a public good, but become atradable commodity. The commercialization of education will enhance thewithdrawal of subsidy by the government.This will defeat the principal objectives of education. Education has beenrecognized by all as a social service and regarded as an instrument for socialchange. The UNESCO World Conference on Higher Education in 1998 declared,“education is a fundamental pillar of human rights, democracy, sustainabledevelopment and peace”. The intricate problems confronted on the eve of thetwenty first century will be determined by the vision of the future society and therole that is assigned to education in general and to higher education in particular.IAU International Conference 6
    • It will be the duty of higher education to ensure that values and ideals of a cultureof peace prevail, and that that the intellectual community be motivated to thatend. The international cooperation and exchange are major pathways foradvancing higher education throughout the world. Article 14 of the UNESCODeclaration also states that financing of higher education is a public service. Thefinancing for higher education demands both public and private funding. Publicfunding must be strengthened to ensure the development of higher education,increase its efficiency and maintain its quality and relevance. The public supportfor higher education and research remains essential guarantee to a balancedachievement of educational and social mission. The Action Plan of UNESCOunivocally stated, “States including their governments, parliament and otherdecision makers should establish appropriate framework for the reform andfurther development of higher education which establishes that higher educationshall be accessible to all on the basis of merit”.III. Competition has both effects – positive and negativeThe competition among the institution – both public and private will have dualeffect. Competitiveness help capacity building, as such public institutions, largelyfunded by the governments, shall have to gear up their infrastructure to confrontthe onslaught of private players in the market. On the contrary, the universitiesand other higher education institutions are confronting financial crunch due topoor revenue income from subsidized fees. Technology in other words is capital.These institutions will fail in improving technological base for higher educationand face uneven competition from the foreign providers. Digital divide betweenthe institutions will be more sharpened. The students in the low income groupstudying in public institutions will be worst hit in getting quality education. But it isnot intended that there will be no competition from the private players. No bodydenies the challenging role of cross border education imparting skill and qualitythrough global competition, but the system demands strict vigilance by thestakeholders, particularly by the university associations enhancing consumerprotection in cross-border education related to quality assurance, accreditationand recognition of qualifications.IV. Issues of Quality Assurance, Accreditation and Recognition ofQualifications are vital.The most important question has been raised how to measure the qualityeducation provided by many players of cross-border education in developingcountries. Many developing countries lack in quality assurance mechanisms. InIndia there exists NAAC and NBA, but the mechanism is not well equipped tocope with cross-border education. South Africa has a national agency like theHigher Education Quality Committee to deal with foreign providers and approvethe setting up of branch campuses, but fails to monitor the distance educationIAU International Conference 7
    • programs by the foreign providers and ensure the quality assurance.International Bodies like UNESCO shall come forward in framing the guidelineson quality assurance of cross-border education by the service providers andadvise the governments and university associations to take appropriate actions.A mutual recognition of degrees and credits could be the only basis of crossborder education. Hence, a mutually acceptable accreditation process needs tobe evolved. The university association in a national framework decides theequivalence of a degree and diploma. The international association shallundertake similar exercise.Principles for actionThe cross-border education is a new phenomenon in the context of globalization.In a modern society aided by ICT, knowledge and capital transcend the limit ofterritorial jurisdiction and know no border. Will there be the hegemony of oneorder, or we have to seek a goal for unity in diversity. IAU has set forth thefollowing principles to guide the actions of all the stakeholders on cross-bordereducation: • Cross-border higher education should strive to contribute to the broader economic, social and cultural well-being of communities. • While cross-border education can flow in many different directions and takes place in a variety of contexts, it should strengthen developing countries’ higher education capacity in order to promote global equity. • In addition to providing disciplinary and professional expertise, cross- border higher education should strive to instill in learners the critical thinking that underpins responsible citizenship at the local, national and global levels. • Cross-border higher education should be accessible not only to students who can afford to pay, but also to the qualified students with financial need. • Cross-border higher education should meet the same high standards of academic and organizational quality no matter where it is delivered. • Cross-border higher education should be accountable to the public, students and governments. • Cross-border higher education should expand the opportunities for international mobility of faculty, researchers and students. • Higher education institutions and other providers of cross-border higher education should provide clear and full information to students and external stakeholders about the education they provide.IAU International Conference 8
    • Recommendations for Higher Education Institutions and other ProvidersBased on these principles, the university associations may suggest the followingaction agenda to be undertaken for adoption and implementation by highereducation institutions and other providers of cross-border education. In order tobenefit from past experience, implementation efforts should recognize and,where appropriate, build on existing legal instruments, policy statements, forumsand initiatives that are consistent with these principles and promote furtherresearch and policy dialogue. • Become conversant with issues surrounding cross-border education and trade to inform the exchange among associations and their associations’ engagement in a constructive dialogue with governments. • Strive to ensure that higher education across borders contributes to the broader social and economic well-being of communities in the host country, is culturally sensitive in its approach and content, and strengthens local higher education capacity by, for example, cooperating, when appropriate, with local institutions. • Obtain the proper authorization to operate as a higher education institution from government or other competent bodies in the home and host countries. At the same time, governments and competent bodies should increase their collaboration, transparency, and information sharing in order to alleviate the administrative burden on higher education institutions. • Build a culture of ongoing quality review, feedback, and improvement by creating robust quality assurance processes at the institutional level, which rely heavily on faculty expertise and incorporate the views of students. • Cooperate with their associations as well as with relevant governmental and non-governmental bodies to develop effective quality assurance principles and practices and apply them to cross-border activities. • Cooperate with relevant governmental and non-governmental bodies to improve the international exchange of information and cooperation on quality assurance and recognition issues. • Provide reliable information to the public, students and governments in a proactive manner, particularly with respect to the institution’s legal status, award-granting authority, course offerings, quality assurance mechanisms, as well as other relevant facts as suggested by codes of good practice.IAU International Conference 9