Higher Education in India is one of the largest and oldest systems of higher education found anywhere in the world. 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. A differentiated three-tiered university system – where each tier has a distinct strategic objective – has enabled universities to build on their strengths and cater across different categories of educational needs. India has undertaken massive structural and systemic changes that have started to yield encouraging results. The country has been touted to have the best-in-class post-secondary education system at present.
Today’s Indian youth is more focused, target oriented and well versed with upcoming needs and accordingly opts for the type of education which is demand driven, job-oriented and unbiased for gender. Viewing the importance of this changing education trend, various non-conventional, technical and non-technical courses are being introduced in general educational institutions, polytechnics and engineering colleges in India. The curricula of these courses are being designed keeping in view the demands of world of work.
Indian education sector is growing at a fast pace but the professionals including faculty and administrators are lagging behind both in quantity or quality. The expansion plans announced by the Indian government and entry of many more private players would require faculty members and given the shortage of faculty either the institutions would further start compromising on the quality of teaching or projects would delay/abort.
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 education system. Higher education in India has recorded impressive growth since Independence. University Grants Commission (UGC), by designing programmes and implementing various schemes through academic, administrative and financial support, has contributed in the growth and development of Indian higher education. In the changing landscape, entrance of private universities is a game changer. Many new institutions of medicine, science, technology and others have been introduced. We have gross enrollment ratio of about 17.9% now, while an ambitious target of 25.2% has been envisaged by the end of 12th Plan.
I strongly believe that a stratified three tiered structure that enables seamless vertical and horizontal mobility of students would be able to create the desired intellectual, economic and social value.