Saturday, July 28, 2012

Getting Ready for India

I am getting ready for my first trip to southern India--Chennai and Goa--to participate in two professional meetings hosted by IAPCHE (the organization I work for). How do I prepare for such a trip? Well I have such a well organized colleague in India who has arranged my time in country so I guess I do not have to worry too much about it. That notwithstanding I still wonder what it will be like and what surprises will be in store for me. I am actually looking forward to tasting the local cuisine because of India's influence on east Africa's cuisine over the last hundred years after the British brought to east Africa Indian workers to build the Kenya-Uganda railway. It will be interesting to compare those local meals with what I am used to both here in the US and back home in Kenya. I also want to see how leadership in Higher education is experienced and expressed in India. In a country with the highest number of higher education institutions (31,324) in the world but third in the number of students in those institutions (at 14.6 million compared to China's 26.7 million and the US's 18.3 million) I am eager to see a little of the on-the-ground realities. What are some of the challenges facing higher education there and how does the leadership anticipate responding? What are some of the similarities and differences between Indian higher education and the US and Kenyan ones? Sure will be an interesting trip, I hope!

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