Students who hail from Africa , feel completely at home as they pursue English, Medicine, Sciences and other courses at different Universities in India. They are all praise for their courses and say:
“We hang out a lot on the campus, which is vast and really beautiful in the evenings. We chat about many different things and now I am assimilated,” said Hussain, who is here on scholarship.
It is impossible to ignore the presence of African students on Indian campuses – there are over 1,500 African students in the country on funded programmes alone.Quality education, working parents in India, scholarships, and friendly people are what attracts them to the Indian education system.
India is academically strong along with being economical which is not the case with the US and Europe. In India, English is a spoken second language whereas. Therefore, the teachers here have a better understanding and command over the language.
EDOOFA awards such scholarships to international students every year with an aim to foster and strengthen cultural relations and build an empowered community of students who have access to good quality education at affordable cost.
For John Christian, who is from Ghana, and is pursuing a masters in economics , it is travelling and sports that fascinate him the most about India. “I like the cultural versatility here and that is unique to India. I have travelled a lot in and around Delhi and down south to Goa. It is fun and also great learning experience.”
The IT edge
Students around the world view India has a leader in Information technology, and come here to develop their IT proficiency.
“Where I come from, I hear that India is one of the best countries for IT. I was always interested in computers,” shares Max Ndundula Nyembue, from Congo. He is pursuing a BSc in IT at an elite private institute, and intends to get an IT job when he goes back to his country. Kemana, from Rwanda, a BCA student studying in Bangalore, also came to India for technology studies. “Our country Rwanda is developing a new system for technology, and they are looking for trained IT professionals. This has given me motivation to come to India,” shares Kemana.
While Max from Congo articulates his thoughts proficiently in English, Kemana is fluent in French and his mother tongue Kinyarwanda. But in this modern age, even countries like Rwanda would be experiencing a paradigm shift from French learning to English learning system eventually. In countries like China and Korea as well, the mode of instruction is the local language. Hence, even they look up to India as an option for quality education in English medium. They feel their spoken English and listening skills get much improved in India as they get an opportunity to speak a lot of English on campus.
The value proposition
Many African students come to India because they feel education in India is relatively cheap compared to western and other Asian countries. “For an education of high level at an affordable price India was the perfect choice,” says Lukunga Tanguy from Congo, who is studying Computer Engineering in India. For some perspective, the total cost of education and living in India comes out to be 1/10th that in U.S.A. It’s believed that universities in India have remained popular in Africa because it offers quality higher education at an affordable cost, the use of English as a medium of instruction, reasonable living costs, and the ethnic, religious and cultural diversity in the country as well. The government has also invested a lot in education, in the form of various scholarships and sponsorship for foreign students. It is well-known now that India is the 2nd country in the world with most freelance jobs, just behind the U.S. So many international students work part-time in order to self-finance their education, since the opportunities are aplenty.
Diversity and Cultural appeal
Many students are simply fascinated by India and come here to embrace what is intrinsically Indian. Bollywood is a major influence in African students opting for Arts and Design courses in India. Nigerian national and a student in India, Hillary John says “People in Nigeria know about Indian fashion through Bollywood. But we don’t have Indian designers in Nigeria who can make all those Indian garments. So, I decided to come to India to look into Indian fashion,’ Similarity of life experience in a developing country and the presence of foreign student communities from various countries also act as an attraction. India’s existing diversity also has a pull factor, as it allows people of various ethnicities or religion to feel at home. Most students from foreign countries find a similarity through religion, language and culture, and this helps them gel up rather quickly. There’s a saying in India, “Atithi Devo Bhava”, translating as “Guests are God-equivalent”, which most of the Indians inculcate in their nature. The ethnic, religious and cultural diversity in the country as well as the presence of students from all around the world makes for a major pull-factor.
Some facts and figures
- India remains among the top five destinations for Kenyan students travelling abroad for higher education. Kenya was among the top six countries of origin of foreign students in India till only a few years back. Kenya has some 3,500 students studying in India. Uganda has more than 800 students, mainly to colleges in Delhi, while Tanzania has around 1,000 studying mainly in the Hyderabad area.
- As of 2013, Sudanese students in India formed the single largest foreign group in the country after the Afghans. Totaling 4759, they pulled past the Americans who had topped the list in 2011.
- African students in India account for a sizeable 15 per cent of the entire foreign student population.
- In 2007, India had launched the Pan African e-Network Project, spending more than $75 Million to provide tele-education and tele-medicine services to 53 African countries. The government also asked a few Indian institutions to set up campuses in Africa.
INDIA’S INVISIBLE INNOVATION:
When people talk about innovation they only think about innovation at the user end, and not on a broader level. On talking with people in research centers across India like Hyderabad, Chennai Bangalore, Delhi etc, they found out that innovation is happening at a very broad level. We call it The Invisible innovation. There are 4 types of invisible innovations which are coming out of India:
- The first type is Business Innovation. There are over 750 innovation centers /RND centers set up in India by different companies. These companies employ more than 400 thousand professionals. When we talked to the scientists in these laboratories, we came to know that they are not just working on local products which would benefit the country they are working on global products. Companies like Google, Microsoft ,Philips , General Electrics said their ‘R n D’ centers in India are creating technology which is appreciated on a global level. But as an end user you don’t know that where this technology came from; you just know the company which makes the end product so you don’t know where the actual Technology was being developed.
- Second type of innovation coming out of India is outsourcing innovation. Many big companies are giving their development work to India so that the technology is developed in India and they can use it for selling it to the whole world. Lets take an example of HCL Technologies which developed technology for Boeing 747, which was designed to avoid collisions in the sky and second was to to complete a landing with in zero visibility. But when you climb on a Boeing 747 you will not know that this these two Technologies were developed in India.
- The third type of innovation coming out of India is process innovation. In India, very qualified educated people are dying to work in a call centre which is considered to be a dead end job in the US so when these people work in a call centre they get bored very easily and they try to think of better ways to do the same job so they start suggesting better ways to do the same job. Now this technology will be sent to the whole world and a new product innovation will happen. New Technologies have come up by means of which you will know what the incoming call will be all about before you pick it up. So this has happened because intelligent minds were working on the process which process was considered to be dead for long in the west.
- Last invisible innovation coming out of India is management innovation. End user products are the tip of the Iceberg and it is the tip of the innovation India is the whole based and which produces The Invisible innovations. So if you are a multinational company and you want to outsource your RND work to India you will give the least sophisticated work to India that is the bottom of the ladder work. Now you are left with two choices: now you have to fill the next step of the ladder ,ie, is the next level of positions. You will either bring people from India who are already expert in the lower tier work which is called ‘in-migration’ or you will outsource the second level of jobs to India because there are a lot of people. You cannot be an investment banker unless you have been an accountant similarly you cannot be a professor unless you have been a student, so if you outsource the bottom tear of work to India then the next step will have to follow, that next tier of jobs will have to be outsourced to India also. If your innovation team has to be based in India and your biggest market place also has to be India then it it is obvious that the top management team will also have to be from India.
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