Indians comprise of the largest percentage of international students at most universities worldwide. Even when US universities saw a decline in international students, they still found that Indian students were coming to them in large numbers.
Seeing this great potential of students, many foreign universities have already set up shop in India. Some of these universities will give students the option of getting their foreign degree in India without ever leaving while others insist on students doing at least part of the course on the main university's campus abroad.
If the proposed Foreign Educational Institutional Bill gets Parliament's nod, it will become easier for foreign universities to have fully functional campuses in India. Will this result in better education standards or will it just confuse students? That remains to be seen, but until that time, here's a look at some of the institutes that are already operating in India.
University of London and London School of Economics (external department), Mumbai
A student can get a degree from the renowned London School of Economics by studying at Russell Square International College in Mumbai. The courses offered include Economics, Banking, Finance, Management, Accounting and Business.
You can actually do the entire degree without leaving your hometown. The fee structure for doing the Bachelor's degree courses is around Rs 5 lakh per year. You will also have to budget an additional Rs 2 lakh over the entire three years for exam fees, application fees, British Council fees and so on.
Naturally this is a huge cost saving because the course would cost at least Rs 40 lakh if you were living and studying in London. Do keep in mind that you can do this course directly through the University of London without going through RSIC.
If you opt for this method, you can save even more money as the course will cost you around Rs 2 lakh. You can also apply to the university directly for several Master's degree courses. See www.londonexternal.ac.uk for more information on the courses offered.
Pearl School of Business (PSB), New Delhi
It has affiliations with Babson College in the US and Nottingham Trent University in the UK and offers Bachelors, Masters and PhD courses. They have courses in management and entrepreneurship and their curriculum has been designed by Babson College in the US.
Studying at PSB will cost you around Rs 5.5 lakh for the MBA and Rs 5.7 lakh (fees not displayed on the website) for the BBA. The PhD can cost you around Rs 10 lakh (fees not displayed on the website).
Your final degree will be awarded by Nottingham Trent University for the BBA and MBA, and Asian Institute of Technology for the PhD course and you can get the degrees without actually going abroad to study. More information is available at www.psbg.in.
Leeds Metropolitan University
This institute actually has an India campus in Bhopal. Naturally one of the main advantages of studying here includes a huge cost savings of over 50 per cent as compared to studying in the UK. The fees for the Bachelor's degrees are around Rs 6-8 lakh and the Masters degree fees are around Rs 3-5 lakh.
The courses include Event Management, Business Studies, International Business and so on. Students have to study for at least one semester at the university's main campus in the UK. More information is available at www.leedsmetindia.in.
Mumbai International Institute of Studies (MIIS)
This is a relatively new institute offering Bachelors degrees in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering and charges students around Rs 2.25 lakh as first year tuition fees. The 2nd and 3rd year of the course will be done in the UK at Newcastle College or South Tyneside College costing you around Rs 9 lakh tuition for both years. The degree for MIIS students is awarded by the University of Sunderland. More information is available at www.miis.in.
Soon, well known universities such as Georgia Tech and Imperial University will have campuses in India. However, you must be very careful and check the validity of the degree the university is providing you.
You should find out what kind of career services the schools will offer and whether the degree will be recognised globally if you wish to study further. And if you wish to work in India, will the Indian employers recognise and give value to these degrees?
You will definitely land up paying more to obtain these foreign degrees in India and hence you must make sure that you will get better (if not the same) jobs than students who have studied at Indian universities.
Do your homework well before you shop at the foreign degree market.
The author is an education consultant and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.