Last week we discussed the century by the £ and how ₹ continued to dip against the $. We discussed the frantic moves of the RBI to stem the flow of forex from India. However these have not helped and ₹ is all set to continue slipping and we may see it go well past ₹ 70 to an US$. This is going to have far reaching consequences for the Indian students. Not just those who are to proceed now but also to those who are already studying and are being supported by family.
Today we discuss what can be the strategy for the education providers and how they can still be accessible.
In an article in THE TELEGRAPH (on this link), I have tried to give out some quick actions that we do expect to be taken… It is important for the trade of education to continue and for it to remain accessible… The ones who react first will be the ones to benefit.
Calcutta-based education counsellor Ravi Lochan Singh said it had been “a very difficult last few days” for Indian students just when American, British and Canadian universities were gearing for admissions.
“It’s time these institutions stepped in and helped out the (Indian) students who are about to reach their campuses,” Singh said.
He suggested that scholarships or India-specific grants amounting to 10 per cent of the tuition fees should be offered to bridge the widening gap between the planned and real costs.
Singh also cited the Reserve Bank’s move to lower the cap on annual overseas remittance by individuals from $2 lakh to $75,000.
“A sum of $75,000 is still quite adequate for a student on an average, but if this is reduced to $50,000 or lower, the situation will become serious,” he said.
Another hurdle, Singh said, is the Rs 20-lakh ceiling on loans for overseas education.
“The limit has not changed since 2001, when the rate was Rs 25 to Rs 30 to a dollar. In 2001, a sum of Rs 20 lakh could cover an Indian student’s full education costs in most countries. Now, it barely covers the first-year costs,” Singh said.
I have tried to indicate that the Universities should freeze their tuition fees for a few years and they should also issue out large number of bursaries aimed at Indian students that can discount the fees by about 10% at least. Universities do teach Economics and the first lesson relates to demand and supply and how the price is fixed. We should let that be applied here too.
I am often asked as to what can be done by institutions to cut on costs to be able to give out the lower tuition fees and the first thought is to reduce the wasteful expenses. For example the printing of brochures in today’s age and time when the online versions remain more up-to-date anyways. We can deal with slightly higher student-staff ratios but then we do need premium education to remain within reach for as many as possible.
I sign off this blog with what is on my mind… “₹£$” for “₹avi £ocean $ingh”.