Harjiv Singh, founder and CEO of Salwan Media Ventures, a serial entrepreneur, founder of BrainGain Magazine which is the largest online magazine read by those students who study abroad from India and South Asia. Singh, shares some of his view points on 'Study in Abroad', the flaws and factors attached to it, in an interaction with Aishwarya Iyer. Singh, who believes in harnessing the confluence of media, technology and education to empower individuals launched a portfolio of education-focused businesses that include the annual One Globe Forum which focuses on what it takes to build a 21st-century knowledge economy in India and South Asia, and BrainGain Magazine, the largest online magazine for study abroad in India and South Asia.
What is the process of applying for studying abroad? Please give details of the essential forms that need to be filled, the documents that are required (visa, passport, graduation certificate, etc.).
"The process of applying for foreign education varies depending on the country of one’s choice. The first criteria to consider is the field of education that a student wants to pursue. The second step is to identify a course from the chosen field, keeping in mind whether one wants to go for masters or a bachelors degree." Basic documents that one needs to keep ready are:
Marksheet/Certificate of 12th Exam
Marksheet/Certificate of Subsequent Years of Education
Marksheet of Any Entrance Exam Taken (if applicable)
Scholarship Documents (if applicable)
Valid passport and visa to the applied country
Could you throw some light on the formalities students have to go through after reaching the destination of study and the university/ nstitution?
"The formalities and requirements vary from country to country. In countries like the U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia, a student is recommended to register his or herself with the International Student Office. In other countries, too, there are bodies equivalent to the International Student Office, where students can register themselves."
Is there any particular reason for the increasing interest to study abroad?
The world today is becoming increasingly interconnected and global. It is the diminishing barriers between countries that help students benefit and develop a global perspective. Adding to this the increasing number of young students opting to go for higher education in India with only a limited number of seats for bachelors and masters degree. This is helping drive the concept of foreign education in India.
Why are students and parents giving preference to a degree from an international university outside India? Do you think education in India is not up to the mark?
"In India, there is a very small percentage of institutions that are globally competitive such as the IIT’s, IIM’s and ISB. But vast majority of Tier 2 & 3 institutions have some way to go before they become globally competitive. With increasing disposable income, parents today often chose to send their children abroad for higher education."
What would you advise students going to study abroad?
"The advice that I would like to give young students going to study abroad is Explore. Dream. Discover."
Prominent views on studying abroad, by education pundits
Prof R S S Mani, Vice President-Institutional Development, ITM Group of Institutions when asked about how higher educational institutes are looking towards assessments on the students' performance in the academic years, says, "There is a visible change emerging in the manner of evaluation and assessments of students in higher education." Mani refers to the current generation as the fast food generation who are restless, wants results in the short runs and the ones who live their lives for today instead of dwelling on the past or thinking about the future. He continues, "There is an increasing emphasis on the job learning projects, presentations, case study discussions and even internships being used more often as an approach to assessment." Talking about the steps which need to be taken for improving the quality of students performance, he says, "They must change the approach to assessment and performance measurement drastically. It must be the need of the hour response and should use multiple ways to measure the student's performance."
Dr. Sandip Jha, Chairman of Sandip University and Sandip Foundation talks about their methodology of creating ways for the students to reach to the international level. He says, "To enhance the personality and develop intellectual quotient of students, Sandip University has come up with an opportunity for students to present their projects on an international level. This will not only raise their bar but also help students to prepare themselves based on international standards. This will be a distinct opportunity for our students." While studying abroad, the students will experience a unique way of teaching which will help them open their minds to new ways of learning. It will also increase their job opportunities internationally. He feels international education will help students to become independent and also increase intercultural interaction which in turn will develop a broader attitude.
Dr. Satyendra Kumar Upadhyay, Director- International Relations, Somaiya Vidyavihar has a different view point on studying abroad. He feels that there is a gap between us and the advanced international level. For which, he feels we need to fill the gap thus creating a cooperative relationship with reputed foreign universities leading to increase in synergy between Indian and foreign academic institutions. "Doing this will lead to offer students additional choices to draw on a broad range of information, tools and skills to develop creative solutions and make strategic decision," Upadhyay said. By doing this, he feels this will improve curriculum and the delivery of knowledge and educational content to make student a global citizen.
Complied by Aishwarya Iyer