India on the campus radar -

India on the campus radar

15 university presidents have packed their bags and headed to India


If you keep up to date with discussions about the knowledge economy, globalization, or just read too many Thomas Friedman columns, you’re well aware of how the phrase “China and India” can be shorthand for seemingly every sector of the economy investing in the two countries that continue to rapidly expand.

Except when it comes to Canadian universities, the level of investment has been rather one-sided towards the country we don’t have Commonwealth ties with. Whether you agree with the policy outcomes or not, we’ve ingrained ourselves heavily with China when it comes to post-secondary education. To cite but one example, over 1,200 UBC students have Chinese citizenship—just 200 less than American students.

However, the tides may be turning. A law is currently before the Indian parliament which would allow foreign universities to grant degrees within India. And this week, the presidents of 15 Canadian universities have packed their collective bags and headed to India for a seven-day mission.

The trip, organized by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC), will see the presidents meat with educators and government officials. So you can bet press releases will be issued, hands will be shook, smiles will be had, etc.

But the trip is already getting a fair bit of press, from places you might not initially expect. Given that, and the progress already made on the file this year, as well as the breadth of universities attending—including UBC, Queen’s, Alberta and Manitoba, among others—this is one Team Canada mission worth keeping an eye on.