NEW DELHI: The government is set to launch a full-fledged portal listing “accredited” institutes of higher education in various countries where Indian students head for studies every year.
The move is aimed at ensuring that students desirous of pursuing studies in foreign universities choose their institutes based on “verified and authentic” information collated by the Indian government and are not duped by agents who sometimes mislead them.
The portal is being established by the Ministry of External Affairs in consultation with the ministries of human resource development and health and family welfare.
“We have been getting complaints that many students who want to study abroad are lured into taking admission in substandard institutes and later feel cheated,” a government source told this newspaper.
“There have been even cases that some students landed up in few countries in central Asia only to realise that the institute they had taken admission to did not even exist,” the source added .
“We therefore thought that a dedicated portal that will have list of good institutes for undergraduate as well as postgraduate courses in every country will immensely benefit our students. We are in the process of consulting department or ministries of education in various countries and our foreign missions and will soon launch the website formally.”
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According to the data put out by the external affairs ministry in August last year, over 5.5 lakh Indian students are studying abroad in 86 countries. Every year over 2.2 lakh students move out of India for pursuing studies, figures also show.
Most of the students are in USA, Canada, Australia,New Zealand, Bahrain, China and UK pursuing mostly engineering, management, medicine or other technical courses.
“Even in countries like US or UK, not all institutes where the students get admission, however, are very good and students may struggle to get jobs after completing their courses,” an official in the HRD ministry said. “Masters degree from some universities in the UK for example is not recognised in India but the students need clarity on all those facts.”
An official in the health ministry said that recently the government had held discussions with the Ministry of Education of the Chinese government to identify some 45 institutes that can be categorised as “good” medical colleges.
Some experts however said that for such an initiative government will have to do a rigorous homework.
“Providing accurate guidance to students for studying abroad is a novel idea but the government will have to make sure that all accredited institutes in all countries are listed and there is little scope for any error,” said Dheeraj Sanghi, a teacher of Computer Science in IIT Kanpur and an expert on higher and technical education.