Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Is A Foreign Degree That Important?

In its continuing, more than a week-long, coverage from across Australia reporting on the horrific attacks on Indian students and the implications, Venkatesan Vembu of DNA newspaper, makes a valid point. Cheap labour often gets attracted to foreign destinations in the name of mundane courses by throwing a bait of permanent accommodation, later. I am not saying that because of these unfortunate, but extremely sick, incidents in the land of the Kangaroo (whose kick should hit back at the perpetrators, nice and hard), we should abort our plans to go abroad for further studies or settling down, completely.

Racial discrimination happens everywhere. They happen even in India and goes by the name of communal discrimination. Sure, we shouldn't buckle under pressure and abort our plans totally about going abroad for further studies or a job. But one thing is clear. It's time we reassess our priorities. Do we really need to go abroad for studies or are we just attracted, as usual, by something phoren? An education degree that is absolutely not available in India and one that is worth spending all the money, time and effort to go all the way across seven seas is acceptable. But I see many students going abroad to get a foreign MBA degree despite India having some of the best,most reputed, MBA colleges (B-schools) of the world. Give me an IIM or a Jamnalal Bajaj or an S.P.Jain anyday. I see students going abroad for undergraduate studies when clearly India has some of the best undergraduate colleges too.

More than the need to go and study abroad for genuine reasons, I think it's more a craze to go abroad and/or perhaps settle there in the future and even get a foreign degree that's attracting many students. We Indians have always been fascinated by foreign things when clearly there's no dearth of class institutions within this country. As one of the trustees of a trust fund that helps the needy for medical and educational needs and as one who, therefore, gets a lot of application for funds to pay the fees for foreign education, my neighbour rightly terms foreign education as an expensive vacation!

Maybe he's quite right. Someone I know sent his daughter to the US last year amidst global recession because- believe it or not- izzat ka sawal tha. Most of his brother's children had been abroad to study, so his daughter too had to go. Then, September 2008 happened. It's a hand-to-mouth existence with this family now and the daughter still has one more year to go. And going abroad to study hair-care and interior designing? I am no education expert here and I don't mean to begrudge any vocation, but I see this as an expensive vacation and nothing more. So is catering. Yes, Switzerland may be the global leader here, but so what? Some of our catering colleges here are great too.

Wake up and smell the coffee!!! It isn't as green as it looks on the other side. And shame on Australia for calling itself a progressive and developed economy. The law & order seems to be in a mess, out there. Right mate?

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