At a time when pundits knocked down Indian mathematic skills in schools and Dr. Manmohan Singh admitted India lags behind China when it comes to research and development, the number of medical aspirants flocking from India to China has increased. While the migration patter has always been known, the pace and scale of migration rises every year.
Countless Indians turn to China to study medicine. Statistics report that in 2010, more than 8,000 students aspired to pursue medical studies in China. Although these degrees are not directly recognised in India, the number of applicants continues to go up due to the availability of better facilities and fees which are considerably cheaper than in Indian private medical schools. Acknowledging this, Chinese medical schools are employing Indian professors to teach in their schools, another step which brings the two countries closer.
Medicine is the most popular field for Indians but many are also studying engineering and the humanities — especially languages. Indian students have been pouring into China since 2003, when the middle kingdom opened its doors to Indian students. Most Indian students study in the larger Chinese cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou, and choose China as an academic destination for its proximity, world class facilities and experience of a booming nation.
Kapil Sibal, Indian Human Resource Development Minister, also signed a pact with Chinese universities in 2010, accepting Chinese degrees, just as India accepts degrees from the US, Europe and Australia. The move was a bid to improve India-China relations and boost educational collaborations between the neighbors.
So why the sudden increase in attraction towards universities in China? Recognising the indisputable power wielded by China and its favorable economic prospects, several American and British educators have become preoccupied with migrating to teach there, not only teachers, lured by the lucrative prospects the East has to offer especially now students too are choosing China as an academic haven.
“Any definition of a world-class education must include knowledge of Asia and the language and cultural skills to deal with Asia. It’s a two-way street: America must now learn from — and with — Asia and the world,” said Tony Jackson, Vice President of Education at the Asia Society. Asia today is sprinting ahead of most western countries and is today, a force to be reckoned with.
— with inputs from Mansi Sheth