As education has become the be-all and end-all to ensure a stable future, the stakes are rising by the day. The real thrust factor has been the hunger from even poorer countries to better their lots by acquiring educational qualifications from universities recognized the world-over, willing to pay the price & make the needed sacrifice in the bargain. The universities also do not want to be left behind, parading their credentials, backed by ranking lists, to suit their own ends! However, some students find they are short-changed in the end by getting the wrong end of the bargain.
Even prestigious universities are ready to tie-up with local institutions in many countries and offer courses in line with their parent bodies. Top faculty is also flown-in to add the oomph & pizzazz to ensnare the students. With more money poured in, with campuses to match with those in parent universities, it is obvious the cost also goes up by the year, despite competition for students. Some countries also promote themselves as education hubs to tap the economic benefits there from.
The gains can never be discounted for acquiring the best possible education. But the fact remains that it has become a herd mentality, more to acquire reputed degrees, but at high investment. Though some manage to get the rewards, for others it is more of a burden in the end, landing their families in debts. It is still possible to acquire equivalent knowledge much cheaper from own countries, but the reputation & marketing thrust of those with the resources carry the day!
For those from poorer countries, what they learn is useful to a certain extent, but realities at home are different. Some theories & practices come unstuck in the face of different working environment at home. The ground realities need a different type of approach, from ground-up. Certain issues are relevant to particular countries & the ground rules are almost set in stone due to historical baggage & societal realities. Of course, with free trade & multinational company influences, they are changing over time!
The main negatives of the globalizing trends in education is not only the costs have shot-up, it is becoming a business, with even fly-by-night operators in the game, and the benefits mostly accrue only to those who are able to relocate to richer countries. The rewards in home country will not pay back the costs incurred.
The hope of a better future always makes us go the extra mile, not to be left behind. The dreams of earlier generation are made a reality now with more countries opening-up to foreign students & even top universities willing to set-up shop in any country that assures them enough comfort. The bottom line – buyer beware – is easily ignored in the face of marketing savvy, but with graduates multiplying by the year, the increase in supply will make more looking for jobs. The top universities take care to differentiate their diplomas, if the courses are pursued in other countries, which factor could well be overlooked by aspiring students in their rush to join the race.
The supply increases to match the demand; but that reality will start biting only later! Already many are led by courses more by their glamour and novelty, like in life sciences; however, the reality is different. Having been led the garden path some find they do not have the passion to pursue a career in some disciplines of studies undertaken. It requires those with the means & the character to make the switch in later years. Buyer beware is applicable only when one is able to make wise choices, but mostly when hard business is taking the lead in education, fairly a new phenomenon in developing countries, at least few realize their follies too late!