Thursday, April 15, 2010

Foreign universities' bill to bar for-profits

The foreign universities' bill to be introduced in parliament soon will bar non-profits, TOI reports.

This fine-print is the third restrictive clause the Union Human Resources Development (HRD) ministry has introduced in the Foreign Education Providers’ Bill, which aims to allow international universities to set up campuses in the country. The other two conditions include forbidding foreign universities from repatriating funds to their home country and setting up a minimum corpus of US $11 million.

I am not very sure that this is desirable. Agreed, one associates quality in education with non-profits. But, in India, we have a huge number of for-profits in various fields, notably engineering, management and medicine, which are non-profit on paper- these are the ones that charge exorbitant sums as capitation fee. Would it not be better to have a system where for-profits from abroad, with a transparent fee system, take on the covert for-profits in India?

Again, there are many institutions that generate substantial profit through hefty fees but plough them back into the institution. They are non-profits on paper since they are registered as Charitable Trusts. No point claiming the high moral ground when it comes to for-profit institutions from abroad.