The future of higher education could be India

This is a fantasy, not a prediction, still we can hold out hope, here is my latest Bloomberg column:

In my fantasy, the [Western] schools that are open to expanding their India operations will rise considerably in reputation. India, and South Asia more generally, is in the midst of a phenomenal explosion of talent in diverse fields…

You might wonder whether India actually needs all of these foreign branches, when it has some superb schools of its own, for instance the various Indian Institutes of Technology. In my fantasy, some Indian institutions of higher education will improve and force some competitors — shall we say UC Berkeley? — to leave the country. Yet many talented Indians will find attending a branch of Harvard or Yale to be an appealing option. Furthermore, the top foreign schools may form alliances with Indian institutions (as Yale has done in Singapore), giving students the best of both worlds.

This future gets better yet. Over time, the population of Indian alumni of prestigious U.S. universities will increase, relative to those who studied and graduated in America. America’s top schools thus will become engines of opportunity. It might also become obvious that the students attending in the U.S. are underperforming their Indian counterparts. What better way to light a competitive fire under the current dominant institutions?

And maybe some of the keenest and most ambitious American students will prefer to study in India rather than in America. (Perhaps a “canceled” American student could be sent to Brown Uttar Pradesh?) Wouldn’t you want to study

Keep reading this article on Marginal Revolution.

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