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Indo-French educational partnerships: Institutions, Technologies and Higher Education

Abstract : Chapter 1 Why France and India? The Convergence Hypothesis The cross-fertilization of insights derived from French and Indian intellectual History, with, on the one hand, the Age of Enlightment in Western Europe in the 18th century, bringing forward an autonomous position for knowledge in human societies, and, on the other hand, the visionary prediction made by Radhakrishnan (1911, 1933, 1936) that India’s future would be built in her classrooms, have ignited an innovative pluridisciplinary reflection on the role played by these two countries in the fabric of the knowledge-based economy in the twenty-first century (Pilkington and Nair, 2013, p.2). Pilkington and Nair (2013, p.8) have laid the ground for the characterization of a triple knowledge-based convergence between the French and the Indian higher education systems on academic, economic and institutional grounds. Building on these intuitions, the present books at consolidating what we call the convergence hypothesis between the two countries. This convergence hypothesis is paramount in the current debates over comparative education systems at the juncture between globalisation studies and educational science. •Cross-fertilization of France and India’s intellectual Histories •A pluridisciplinary outlook on the knowlegde-based economy •A triple knowledge-based convergence between the two higher education systems Chapter 2 Education, Growth and Development For Aghion and Cohen (2004), the link between higher education investment and growth becomes more relevant when a country’s economy is no longer based on imitation, and begins to rely instead on innovation as the main engine for growth. Pilkington (2012, p.45) reminds us that the ‘knowledge triangle’ – research, education and innovation– is a core factor in European efforts to meet the ambitious Lisbon strategy and its stated objective that knowledge should lie at the heart of the EU in order to turn its economy into the ‘most dynamic competitive knowledge-based [one] in the world’ (European Parliament, 2000). In India, the growth of the last decade has been impressive (IMF, 2014); with a GDP close to $2 trillion, the third largest economy in the world on a PPP basis (ibid.) is now an emerging giant in the global arena; but has this growth performance been matched by an equivalent increase in the supply of higher education graduates (Pilkington, & Nair, 2013)? In this respect, the NKC has suggested the creation of 1500 universities by 2015 (National Knowledge Commission, 2008). The enhancement of human capital is also a key driver of economic development and should be put back into perspective with the discussions over urbanisation in India. A lot of unaided colleges are still implanted in rural areas, and the access to higher education of the rural population of India is still a key component of the future development path of the country. Likewise, an ongoing reflection and at times a raging debate (Pilkington, 2014) is taking place of the best way to improve French bibliometric output. The dualism between public universities and Grandes Ecoles is one of the coping stones of the French system (Pilkington & Nair, 2013, Pilkington, 2014, see Chapter 3 this volume). This chapter aims at uncovering the stakes in the current evolution of the architecture of the two higher education systems, and offers an original perspective on the articulation between higher education, economic growth, and development. •The link between higher education and growth •The knowledge triangle and the Lisbon strategy •Human capital and economic development Chapter 3 The French higher education landscape The French higher education system is characterized by its recent move towards the Bologna process with the autonomy granted to university and the adoption of the 3 – 5 – 8 (Bachelor, Master, PhD) architecture, and its enduring dualism between public universities and Grandes Ecoles reserved to the elite of the nation (Pilkington 2012, 2014) with heated discussions concerned the efficiency of the system and the existence of possible research synergies between the two parallel systems. In this chapter, we try to single out the strengths of the French higher education system (Pilkington, 2012, Bejean & Monthubert, 2014), in order to put forward a strategic vision for the coming decade within the context of broader global evolutions in the knowledge-based economy. We also allude to a certain number of weaknesses of the French system (underfunding of public universities, lack of selection at the entry of public universities, embryonic reflection on the creation of interdisciplinary colleges). We are convinced that the French higher education system is at the crossroads, with an urgent need to adapt the demands of internationalisation and global competition in the sphere of higher education. The broader issue is also about the policy strategies devised by France in order to adapt to the new knowledge-based economy in the twenty-first century. •France and the Bologna Process •A SWOT analysis of the French higher education system •The internationalization of higher education: the key to French prosperity Chapter 4 The Indian scenario The architecture of the Indian higher education system is certainly not a simple one, with the legacy of the British empire, the distinction between deemed and non-deemed universities, aided and non-aided colleges, rural and urban institutions (Pilkington and Nair, 2013). The Indian business sector today depends on its higher education system. The supply of graduates also assumes great importance in twenty-first century India. The enhancement and the modernisation of the Indian higher education system have recently been redefined as a national priority, which has triggered a comprehensive wave of reforms ((Anandakrishnan, 2010). It is certainly the youth of the Indian population, which will constitute the most decisive asset in the new global knowlege-based economy (Pilkington & Nair, 2013, p.5). The mass-scale of Indian higher education in the 21st century is increasingly posing a challenge to governing bodies. The 11th Plan (2007–2012) addressed the necessary reforms in the light of widening disparities concerning the estimated enrolment rates of various ethnic, religious and socio-economic groups. It also addressed issues of quality and financing of higher education in the context of massive privatisation, together with unbridled growth of foreign educational providers (Pilkington, 2014, p.117). In this chapter, we try to sketch out a road map for the Indian higher education scenario in the next decade, and posit a certain number of additional elements of convergence with the French system (past and present). •Mapping the Indian higher education system •A road map for the next decade •A comparative approach Chapter 5 An Indo-French virtual university project This ultimate chapter is interdisciplinary in scope at the juncture between education science, globalisation studies and and information technology. Indo-French cooperation has existed for many years. One can mention the Indo-French Center for the Promotion of Advanced Research (IFCPAR) co-funded by the French Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Indian Department for Science and Technology, and the Indian Ministry of Science and Technology. It is a flagship programme for scientific cooperation between France and India and dates back to the very fruitful discussions between former French President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing and former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. It has greatly facilitated the exchange of faculties, the organisation of conferences, seminars and roundtables, as well as the dissemination of research documents. This was made possible by the identification of scientists and scientific institutions with mutually reinforcing research agendas and the potential to strengthen future cooperation between the two countries. Finally, the programme has also promoted applied/industrial research projects through enhanced collaboration between higher education institutions and the industry in a broad sense. Regarding the possibility of creating a new Indo-French virtual university, we draw on the insights of Pilkington (2014, p.123). Finally, the possibility of designing a truly Indo-French virtual university (together with an international e-campus) should be given further consideration in the near future. Indeed, never have the two countries been so close to achieving such an unprecedented academic, technological and institutional breakthrough in the global higher education arena. The term “virtual university” is often not clearly defined and is used to refer to both “conventional” campus-based universities offering online courses (“hybrid” institutions, “brick-and-mortar”) and virtual universities in a “pure” form in the sense that all their activities are delivered online via the Internet. A virtual university may be defined as an institution which is involved as a direct provider of learning opportunities and uses the internet to deliver its programs and courses while receiving tuition support (Ryan et al. 2000, p. 2). The skeleton of this virtual university project is provided by Pilkington and Nair (2013, p.12) who have proposed an innovative architecture for an Indo-French Knowledge Management system with the objective to secure a competitive advantage in the knowledge economy. •Indo-French cooperation in higher education: where do we stand? •Paving the way for a new Indo-French virtual university •An Indo-French Knowledge Management system: a new perspective
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Pilkington Marc, Geeta Nair. Indo-French educational partnerships: Institutions, Technologies and Higher Education . Palgrave Pivot. Palgrave Macmillan, 2016. ⟨hal-01232035⟩



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