25 March 2007 at 1:10:54 PM
Remember when Bush, in a time where Americans are losing their jobs to outsourcing in India, said that, after all, Americans need to quit whining and get educated (in so many words) and after all, we DO get mangoes from India. Well, the US is going to help Indians get educated, ain't that swell of us? On the one hand, for some reason I can't fathom yet, Karen Hughes wants to ease the visa restrictions so that more Indians can come here and get better educated, and on the other, universities in the US are salivating at the chance to educate (read: get more money) Indians by setting up satellite universities in their country. But you don't mind this, right? Otherwise, if you thought WE should be educated, keep our jobs here, Bush and his cronies might accuse YOU of *protectionism*-ooo!
First, Here's Hughes, doing her part to serve the corporate interests.
The US wants to open its doors even wider to students from India for the benefit of the next generation of Indians and Americans, a US official said ahead of a trip to India.
US and India are 'engaging more actively and constructively than ever on a wide range of issues', US Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Karen Hughes said Friday describing her March 26-29 trip to India as one meant 'to strengthen our collaboration'.
And lets' just throw in that word *global*.
'The global knowledge society knows no boundaries. Now it remains for governments and higher educational institutions - working in partnership with the private sector - to match their students' ambitions,' she added.
Seems that 9/11 made it more difficult for some to come here. Including Indians.
American educational institutions, from community colleges to universities, seek to attract foreign students, but after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, security concerns made student visa applications more cumbersome. This is changing, according to Hughes: “I am pleased to report that the total number of student and exchange visas issued by the Department of State reached an all-time high of 591,050 during [fiscal year] 2006. Student visa issuance in India was up by 32 percent over last year. Secretary Rice is committed to a transparent and efficient visa process and the Department of State has taken many steps to streamline those processes.”
But here's the kicker. She is NOT talking about the OTHER purpose for her going to India, which is to help United States universities set up satellites. Could it be it's more palatable to read about Indians coming HERE than it is to know that we are helping train Indians THERE?
And now for those American universities, who are also so dang eager to set up satellites in other countries. AFter all, we just learned recently that Texas A&M set up a satellite in... DUBAI.
The exchange was one of the many ways in which American universities, eager to expand to markets abroad, are training their sights on India. Some 40 percent of the population is under 18 and a scarcity of higher education opportunities is frequently cited as a potential hurdle to economic progress.
The American schools are just dipping their toes in the water because the law here is still vague on how foreign educational institutions can operate. But that may soon change.
President George W. Bush's envoy for public diplomacy, Karen Hughes, is visiting India this week with a coterie of a half-dozen American university presidents to promote Brand America in Indian education. The United States wants an easing of rules under a draft law on foreign investment in Indian education, which is due to be introduced in Parliament in April.
If the law is approved, foreign institutions would be exempt from strict rules that currently apply to all government-accredited universities in India on fees, staff salaries and curricula. The government has already proposed setting up an expert committee to review the standards and reputation of foreign universities that want to establish independent campuses here.
The growing American interest in Indian education reflects a confluence of trends. It comes as American universities are trying to expand their global reach in general and discovering India's economic rise in particular. It also reflects the need for India to close its gaping demand for higher education.
I don't have anything against Indians. But I DO have something against the Bush administration, that is not supposed to be for *global* interests but for citizens who live HERE. It shouldn't be always about who can make a buck at citizen's expsnes. For example, it strikes me that we have jobs LEAVING our country because corporatoins can pay people cheaper in other countries. But then, we have to go TRAIN them to be better educated so that then companies like Microsoft can get H1b Visas and bring in these better educated people (at a lower price) to take our jobs, too? Pfftt on that, and Pffttt on the Bush administration.
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