Published: 22nd November 2018
Foreign campuses in India will promote healthy competition, says Manipal's Vice Chancellor
Dr H Vinod Bhat, the Vice-Chancellor of MAHE believes welcoming foreign universities to India is a win-win situation for all the stakeholders
Manipal Academy of Higher Education in Mangalore is well-known for its facilities and the quality of education that it provides for its students. Though started as a medical college in 1953, the institute has branched out and now offers numerous other courses. With campuses set-up in Malaysia and Dubai, it is one among the only two private universities in India to be granted the status of Institution of Eminence by the Ministry of Human Resourse and Development.
Edex caught up with Dr H Vinod Bhat, the Vice-Chancellor of Manipal Academy of Higher Education on the sideline of the university's 26th convocation to know more about his stance on the present education system in India and the university's activities.
Manipal University has been operational for the last six decades and recently it was recognised as an Institute of Eminence by the MHRD, what is next for the university?
Right now the focus for the university is to be in the top 200 universities in the world and this was our aspiration much before we got the title of Institution of Eminence (IoE). We are one of the two private institutions in the country to have received this. As a university, we were working towards bettering ourselves and the IoE tag came at the right moment and the recognition has given us the autonomy to amend the curriculum to make it more contemporary and inter-disciplinary. Our expectation is that Manipal will be one among the top 500 universities in the world by 2020.
Where do you think the Indian education system is going wrong and how long do you think it would take an Indian university to become the next Oxford or Harvard?
It is a matter of four-five years and I do see Indian universities in the top 200. Aspiring to be one among the top 200 universities in itself is a large expectation and it has to be backed by a lot of resources and actions.
The truth is that Indian universities were not really focused on world rankings and it shouldn't be the core concern. The point is to make Indian university globally relevant and each university's concern should be to meet the national agenda -- that is to make the population educated enough. In order to achieve this goal the university shouldn't be elitist, rather it should open its door for everybody and make it need-blind when it comes to admissions.
You did favour the government's move to let foreign universities open their campuses in India. Don't you think that such a move would hamper the growth of Indian universities that are already struggling to match-up to its western counterparts?
We constantly benchmark Indian universities with the foreign ones when it comes to quality of education. Now, if some of the best ones want to set-up a campus in India, I think we should welcome it because we will have some of the best practices in education coming to our doorstep. Unfortunately, I don't see this happening in the next few years but I would welcome the move because it will build a very healthy competition, improve the quality of people who are in the race and also bring a lot of collaborative practices.
You have highlighted the importance of research and publication in meeting the global standard of university rankings, could you brief us how Manipal is contributing to this ecosystem?
When it comes to university ranking, they look at the source of funding and the output, that is how much do they produce in terms of research papers. Taking this into account we are doing very well in terms of research funding and publishing. For funding alone, we have received rs 100 crore in one year both in cash and in terms of publishing, we have grown from publishing 500 papers in 2017 to 3000 in 2018 and the quality of the research is something that we strictly monitor.