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India woos West with education

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Long known for its outsourcing, India is now increasingly marketing itself as a destination for affordable education.

From his bedroom in Bangalore, biology teacher Vishal Bhatnagar uses an electronic pen to highlight the main parts of the human endocrine system on the laptop screen in front of him.

"What I'm trying to show you," he says, speaking into a headset, "is that most of the chemicals in the body are poured into the blood to be effective."

Eight thousand kilometres (5,000 miles) away in London, student Veenesh Halai follows along, making notes and asking questions.

[...]

For centuries, Indians have sent their own children to the best boarding schools, colleges and universities in the West. India is still one of the world's largest exporters of students. But India is now trying to reverse that trend.

The International School of Bangalore looks like a tropical resort. Its lush, manicured lawns are fringed by palm trees and fragrant, blooming vines. There are more than 400 foreign students enrolled at the school, which boasts an international GCSE curriculum, as well as a swimming pool, golf course, spacious residence halls and 24-hour medical staff.

On the football pitch, 14-year-old Josh and 13-year-old Will, both from the UK, kick a ball back and forth.

"I miss the food in the UK. I miss beans on toast," said Josh. "But here, I haven't seen any bullying. You don't have to be good at sport to be liked here. If you're a nice person, everyone likes you. And there's no messing about when it comes to studying."

"Here, the fee is about a quarter of a comparable British boarding school," said Dr Matthew Sullivan, the school's American principal.

"And all Indian schools are smoke-free, drink-free, drug-free environments. There are no mobile phones or iPods, so there are no distractions from learning."

Link: BBC News.

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