Thursday, May 20, 2010

Foreign varsities Act to open new vistas for global education companies

The passing of Foreign Universities Act to allow overseas universities in the Indian soil will open new vistas for international education companies like Edexcel, part of Pearson Group of the UK, according to the David Davies, international business manager of the company. The UK model of university education could be replicated in India both on the academic and technical realms by opening new windows of opportunity for education companies in the higher education delivery supply chain, he said.

Speaking about the advantages of foreign universities setting shops in India, David said the apparent beneficiaries of the move would be the student community and education solution companies like Edexcel. "Students tend to benefit from the lowering of tariff and service costs in terms of building, infrastructure and other campus-related expenses in addition to getting a college degree of global standard relevant to the current advanced economies and industries. On the other hand, universities in the US, the UK and Europe mulling to foray into India will be looking to hire local faculties at relatively lower costs. With our proven niche in the teacher training module, we are foreseeing a huge faculty orientation programmes coming our way in preparing Indian faculties for foreign university teaching assignments", he added.

Commenting on the current developments in the education content vertical, he said Edexcel now offers International General Certificate for Secondary Education (IGCSE) and General Certificate for Education (GCE). In future, it will be developing K2 (up to eight standard) curriculum for its affiliated schools in the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Bangaldesh and India. Edexcel has its GCE and IGCSE affiliate programmes in 140 schools in Bangaladesh, 134 schools in Sri Lanka and 330 schools in India.

The company also offers vocational programmes like Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC) and National Vocational Qualification (NVQ). Davies said vocational affiliations are 100 in India, 20 in Bangladesh and 20 in Sri Lanka and universal in Maldives, which receives UNDP support for its education programmes. "Our vocational qualifications, including NVQ and BTEC, from entry level to higher national diploma of vocational portfolio have over one million registrations across 45 countries".

The company last year committed close to 100 million pounds towards expansion in the Indian market, he said. He unveiled the plans to partner with 40 educational institutions in Tamil Nadu as part its expansion in India. The Pearson Group company is already in partnership with two institutions, Everonn and Cornerstone, in Tamil Nadu to deliver various vocational programmes. Operating in more than 85 countries, the company is eying Nepal for expansion.

Source: Financial Express, May 20, 2010

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