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Rankings, and the realities of higher education

  • Published
    29th Jun, 2023

Context

The National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) recently released the India Rankings for 2023. This is the eighth consecutive edition of rankings of higher education institutions.

Issues with the ranking

  • First-The first is the issue of participation of institutions. Only 12.3% of higher educational institutions participated in the ranking process.
  • Second-The second issue is the incongruence between quantity and quality. According to AISHE, Uttar Pradesh has the highest number of colleges in the country. The list of top 100 colleges does not feature a single college from U.P.
  • Third- The third issue stems from the close correlation between faculty strength and rankings.

Scienti?c publications

  • Overall world scientific publications-India’s share in the overall world scientific publications is about 4.81%.In comparison, China’s share of world publications increased from 5% in 2000 to 26% in 2018.
  • Case of management-In management, 50% of the institutions which applied for being included in the rankings had zero publications.
  • Comparison with China- The number of Chinese universities increased by 140%, research faculty increased by 69%, and public research funding increased ten­fold. But no such transition was witnessed in the case of India.

Way Forward

  • Balanced Development- The fact that 81% of high­ quality colleges are in three States highlights the need for a mission to improve quality across the country.
  • Quality of state universities- Quality di?erences are evident between private and government institutions as well. If the quality of State universities is enhanced, it would also serve the purpose of serving students in rural locations.
  • Budgetary Outlays- In order to have a global educational impact, budgetary outlays for higher education needs a quantum jump in India.
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