Today, when India has achieved almost universal enrollment of elementary education, there is a huge population of first generation learners accompanied by parents with aspirations and awareness about what education can do. A large percentage of our countrya��s poor parents are aware and want to send their
children to college. They expect it will allow their children to make a better life unlike themselves. At the macro level, higher education is supposed to have a worthwhile impact on the economy as it leads to skill development and maximizes the potential use of human resource. But, despite debates, discussions, arguments, protests and policies from government, academicians, universities and students, one thing that seems to remain constant is the poor quality of higher education. In the last few years, the higher education sector in India has grown tremendously in terms of quantity. It is the third largest higher education system in the world. In fact, in India, the number of universities has increased by 29 times and colleges by 71 times since Independence.
The higher education system in India has evolved for decades and so has the a�?needa�? for it to be regulated. The system of affiliation in India dates back to 1857 when the first three universities in India (Bombay, Madras and Calcutta) were modeled on the University of London.A�
This process of affiliation in India has another side to it.
No doubt, there has been a remarkable increase in the number of higher education institutions regardless of over regulations. But has there been even a one fold increase in the quality of the graduates these institutes produce?
It is important to understand the seriousness of this trap our universities and colleges are in. A situation where colleges compete for quality will automatically regulate and eliminate poor quality institutions. Secondly, if the colleges are allowed to decide their curriculum, teaching patterns and other methodologies, students will automatically choose those which give them best quality and result and thus, eliminate the poor ones. For, many of us can afford not to let this situation make a difference in our lives by going abroad but there are millions in our country who do not have a choice.a��
Research Assistant – Education @ India Institute
The poll referred to in the first paragraph is our Weekly Your View that was posted on our social media on 26th June 2014.