Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is a success. — Henry Ford.
International Collaborations play an essential role in most universities. Post the 1990s, Liberalisation and Globalisation of the economy, understanding and replicating best practices from the world has gained significant momentum. Since the graduates from the universities need to understand the global best practices in the real world, it has become necessary for many top-ranking universities with other global educational institutions to bring in the best educational systems and practices. It provides a cost-effective method to study at International Institutions and enables students to gain specific expertise, perspective on a new approach of teaching and imparting knowledge. Collaborations most importantly help universities gain access to foreign education, procedures, teaching pedagogy. This mingling of thoughts leads to great innovations and the exchange of information that would not be possible otherwise.
Given the large size of the Indian population with aspirations for higher studies, foreign universities find it attractive to cater to the needs of such aspirants.
To strengthen the partnership with universities, the knowledge of Indian socio-economic-political conditions are best brought forward by Indian teachers and professors while collaborating with their counterparts, leading to co-authored research papers, books, project work, presentations etc. As a result of such cross-pollination of ideas, the quality of education and curriculum gain substantial recognition and attracts talented teachers and students. This, in turn, results in a higher ranking of universities.
Mahindra University also has world-class collaborations with various institutions. All collaborations include online format and are with CentraleSupélec, University of Florida, Babson, Virginia Tech and Cornell University’s SC Johnson College of Business. Student exchange is through semester program, curricular development, faculty inputs and joint research work.
The New Education Policy (NEP) 2020 is broadly set on setting right two fundamental inconsistencies in India’s existing education system. The first is flexibility in choosing subjects, course duration, structure, etc. The second is absorbing and assimilating world-class foreign resources and institutions into the Indian mainstream.
It takes a lot of effort to forge new meaningful collaborations. A lot of thought must be put to understand whether it would work long term. Both the partner universities should understand and blend along with each other as far as ethics, standards, compatibility are concerned. In addition, universities might be going through changes in staffing and funding or international regulations over time. In the light of all these, it is essential to consider whether the partnerships can adapt to the changing circumstances.
The rate of internationalisation is growing fast, with universities competing with each other and going out of their way for better collaborations than the other. Therefore, one must really up their game and be the best in their stream to gather access to some of the best (IVY League) universities. One of the main reasons is that the students want to study abroad. Therefore, they can attract from across the globe with unhindered communication and inexpensive travel, better collaboration, and more talent.
Universities have abundant knowledge and talent, from world-class academic researchers to students. If they team up with international collaborations for additional support and research, these universities can be a win-win situation for both parties at an early stage. Moreover, these partnerships can deliver innovative results.
The students can study and learn an array of globally recognised subjects from international professors and gain international university experience with value addition to the education system for a brief period. In any collaboration, the students are at the maximum advantage. It adds to their portfolio and provides them with wisdom. The knowledge gained from such partnership is immense and will add value in whichever field of further education or job they wish to join. Collaboration is a formative experience that every student should experience at least once in their life. It gives an immense boost to their confidence, speaking and leadership skills and their career successes after that.
Collaborations do boost the value of any university. It provides a platform to groom the students’ knowledge and access international faculty and information and even a student–exchange program in most cases where the learning is abundant, and one gets the best of both worlds.