University Grants Commission (UGC) released a report “Higher education in India at a glance” summarizing key datapoints of relevance for policymakers and administrators. Here are three charts from the report:
1. Massive expansion in supply of colleges:
India added nearly 20,000 colleges in a decade (increased from 12,806 in 2000-01 to 33,023 in 2010-11) which translate into a growth of more than 150%. Number of degree granting universities more than doubled from 256 to 564, primarily due to deemed-universities and private universities. India has a complex affiliation system where a universities can have hundreds of public and private teaching colleges affiliated to it.
2. Lesser growth in student enrollment:
Although number of students enrolled in higher education doubled from nearly 8.4 million to 17 million in a decade, it grew a slower pace than number of colleges which grew 2.5 times in the same period, creating a paradoxical situation of excess capacity in a country where gross enrollment ratio is less than 20%.
3. Three-year degree and engineering:
Student continue to be sorted into two tiers–engineering and three-year degrees of Arts, Science and Commerce. Every sixth student in India is enrolled in engineering/technology program and more than 2/3rd of Indian students are enrolled in three-year undergraduate degrees.