Over the last two decades, India has remarkably transformed its higher education landscape. It has created widespread access to low cost/high quality university education for students of all levels. With well planned expansion and a student centric, learning driven model of education, India has not only bettered its enrolment numbers, but has dramatically enhanced its learning outcomes.
Technology also played an important role in this outcome. Internet connectivity and accessibility was a premium few years ago. But now, due to the ease of access of internet through smart phones, students have access to different sources of information. With the effective use of technology, India has been able to bring in excellence even to the rural areas.
In the recent years, India has taken massive structural and systematic changes that have yielded encouraging results. India has taken a large scale reform to better the student-faculty ratios by making teaching an attractive career path, expanding opportunities for research students at universities and delinking educational qualifications from teaching ability. This is evident when one considers the reforms and the list of PG colleges taking up reforms is growing. Some of the significant factors that have contributed to this growth are
- Transition to a learner centric education system
- Intensive use of technology
- Best-in-class post secondary education system
All these factors lead to India being in the Top 5 countries worldwide in research, with 23 universities in global top 200, compared to none two decades ago.
By 2030, India will be amongst the youngest nations in the world. With nearly 140 million people in the college going age group, one in every four graduates in the world will be a product of the Indian higher education system. Most importantly, PG courses will play a massive role in it. Some of the best post graduate colleges in India will be responsible for shaping the future generation of our country.
Some of the highlights of India’s education sector are
- In the last 20 years alone, 6 Indian intellectuals have been awarded the Nobel Prize across categories.
- India is a regional hub for higher education, attracting global learners from all over the world.
- India’s massive open online courses, started by several elite research universities, collectively enrol 60% of the world’s entire student population.
- India is among top 5 countries globally in cited research output, its research capabilities boosted by annual R&D spends amounting to over US$140 billion.
Going forward, transformational and innovative interventions would be required across all aspects of higher education system i.e., curriculum, faculty, research, partnerships, infrastructure, funding and governance. While it is important to address the existing shortcomings in the higher education system, it is more important to move towards a bold and inspirational vision.