Post Covid: students are opting for higher institutions near home

Students in the north-eastern states are increasingly choosing a university or college closer to home

With post Covid developments in the education scenario, the students in the north-eastern states are increasingly choosing a university or college closer to home. It has been reported that stakeholders, ranging from parents to educators believe that region-based universities have emerged as viable higher education contenders, as opposed to learners migrating to other states in the Covid era.
Quality, safety, and practicality, are the parameters prospective students weigh on institutions and local universities fit the bill. For Narayan Chandra Talukdar, Vice Chancellor of Assam Down Town University - an institution offering over 64 programmes and with over 8,000 students from 10 Indian states as well as Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh and as far as some African countries, the goal is to standardize the education system to meet global standards and compete favourably.
Assam, Sikkim, Nagaland, Manipur, Arunachal, Mizoram, Tripura and Meghalaya have begun an educational resurgence geared towards building a system that works not just for the people of India, but for anyone across the globe seeking the requisite skill and international exposure required to function in today's world. Attracting foreign students from regular programmes like BCA, BBA, Sericulture, Travel and Tourism, Environmental Science, among others, to several professional courses, these tertiary institutions are opening up new vistas for quality learning and research.
The cultural and natural diversity of the region exposes foreign students to a whole new experience. Joint Director, SCERT, Assam, Dr Jayanta Kumar Sarmah observed that "the north-eastern region has a natural setting with wide range of resources for real time learning." One of the biggest areas of potential is agricultural science with special focus on bio-technology and forestry. "The government needs to take the initiative to provide world-class facilities in the institutions to run one or two specific need-based courses, which will have a tremendous impact on socio-economic development. This will definitely entice students from other states and countries," he notes.
Joint Director, SCERT, Assam, Dr Jayanta Kumar Sarmah observed that "the north-eastern region has a natural setting with wide range of resources for real time learning."
For Guwahati-based educator Randhir Gogoi, the last decade has witnessed the emergence of Northeast India as a new educational hub with numerous state and non-state universities and colleges being established. "These institutions, both government and private, provide world-class infrastructure and teaching are able to retain local students to a larger extent than ever before. Auxiliary services like new libraries, bookshops, recruitment fairs, even paying guests and private hostels have added to the educational infrastructure in the region, along with generating employment and new incomes for people."
 A view of a college class room
Image: A view of a college class room
Assam has three universities - Tezpur University, Gauhati University and Dibrugarh University - in the top 100 universities of India, according to the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) ranking. In the same vein, there are three Assamese institutions in the top 100 engineering colleges of India. With the opening of Act East Policy, several opportunities have sprung up. The policy is not just related to trade and commerce, as is widely known, but also for people to people contact. We've had three batches of international students studying in our university so far.
Because of the Covid-19 situation, things are currently going slow, but as the situation improves, more students from across the globe are expected to show interest. According to statistics, most of the foreign students come from Nepal, Afghanistan, Bangladesh Africa, Bhutan, Nigeria, Lao, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and Iran, with many of them seeking the B-Tech engineering degree, and a large number of many others taking the BBA degrees. Other popular undergraduate courses for foreign students are Pharmacy, Medicine, Computer Applications, Fashion, Sociology, Dentistry and Nursing. (This news is based on a report by IANS)




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