65% jump in higher education, what are the reasons?

A recent survey conducted by MHRD indicated that the Gross Enrollment Ration (GER) for Higher Education went up to 20.2 from 12.4. In a conference titled EducatioNext organized by The Times of India, Kapil Sibal has shared his thoughts, below are some of the key points he briefed.

  • In the coming years India needs 800 more Universities & 50,000 more colleges
  • By 2030, the number of kids vying for university education will touch 400 million, the size of the population of USA
  • 2.5 lakh villages would be connected by fibre optics to build a powerful information highway
  • Hundreds of courses will be sent out online and make it possible for students to create own combination – e.g., mathematics and music

Indeed the gathering has addressed so much about higher education but there was no mention on what they will do with students post their studies. Where are the jobs? Will it not shoot up the unemployment rate in India further up? More and more students are opting for higher studies even after pursuing professional courses such as Engineering. One of several reasons is because there are no employment opportunities for Lakhs of Engineering students (quality less) who graduate each year. The entry barrier for higher education is so much smoothed that 25% percentage of graduating students from Engineering courses doesn’t even possess basic skills in English.

There was also no mention about the quality of education, we are enrolling students for higher education but where we stand in producing the quality?  According to Webometrics Ranking of World Universities, there was not even a single Indian University or Institute in the Top 100, IIT Madras started with a rank of 454.

The challenge in front of India at the moment is to improve on quality and not on approving more and more colleges.

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