Dr. Mrs. Pankaj Mittal, Secretary General, Association of Indian Universities tells about Internationalization of Higher Education

We have to do lot many things to improve the number of international students who are coming to India, says Dr. Mrs. Pankaj Mittal, Secretary General, Association of Indian Universities in an interview with Chandan Anand, Founding Editor, ArdorComm Media Group.
What’s your vision and view about the concept of New Normal?
The concept is very good because New Normal is New Normal and everybody has to abide by the New Normal. Its good that people learn about New Normal and how to adjust in the New Normal, sooner the better. Its very timely that you held this Education Leadership summit to make people aware that what is new normal and how they have to work in order to be successful in the new normal.
Being a lady there are very few people in the country who are holding such reputed and honored position. How do you feel like being in this position and what’s your vision ahead for AIU?
I’m very happy, it’s very true that women have to struggle more than the men for achieving any position especially that glass ceiling is there and its very difficult to break the glass ceiling, so you feel very happy and you feel like doing lot more. Like you want to do lot of things for the nation for the country, for the education sector when you are in this position. As the Secretary General of Association of Indian Universities where we have more than 850 universities as our members so its very good to work for the entire Higher Education sector, to do a lot of work in terms of say academics, research, internationalization of higher education, sports, culture. So, it’s a body which is involved in holistic developments of the students in all manners, not only in academics and research but also in cultures and sports events.
You mentioned about the internationalization of universities, can you please elaborate on what AIU is doing on it?
Right now, you will be surprised to know that especially if we talk of international students, from India, about 8 to 10 lack students go out every year but when you talk about students coming to India it is less than 50 thousand, around 46 thousand students are coming to India and that too only from the neighboring countries like Nepal, Afghanistan, Bangladesh. So, we have to do lot many things to improve the number of international students who are coming to India. To that extent AIU is doing a lot of things, for example when we talk of international collaborations we see that many times specially the foreign universities who want to come to India, they don’t come to know that which university is good in which area so we are building an AIU collaboration portal where the foreign universities will know that which university is good in which area, so that they can straight away collaborate. Secondly in spite of so many year independence we do not have a network of international educators, like Nafsa is a network and there are so many networks in different countries but India does not have a network of international educators, so what happens in India is that very few universities are good in internationalization and many of them who want to do internationalization they don’t know how to do it, whom to contact, how to start. So, we are building a network which will help in a lot of information sharing, knowledge sharing so that the good ones can hand hold the not so good ones and everybody can move together.

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