India has reached a gross enrollment ratio (GER) of 26.3% in higher education and is on the path to achieve its target of 30% by 2020. The higher education sector has rapidly expanded in the country since 2001, fueled by rising demand.
Despite the increased access to higher education, challenges remain. Low employability of graduates, poor-quality of teaching, faculty shortages, an over-regulated regime, lack of autonomy and investment in research and innovation plague the sector. The limited assessment and accreditation capacity of government bodies such as NAAC and NBA has also been a significant barrier in linking the performance of an institution with autonomy and funding decisions.
If India is serious about investing in human capital and curbing youth unemployment, it must tackle the problems plaguing the higher education sector. A new Brookings India report on Reviving Higher Education in India [archived PDF] by Shamika Ravi, Neelanjana Gupta, and Puneeth Nagaraj takes a wider view of the urgent reforms needed. The report takes a closer look at key aspects, including: enrollment, employment and quality; governance and accountability; funding with a focus on efficiency, transparency and affordability; research and innovation; and the regulatory system. As the government evaluates proposals to reform the University Grants Commission and implement the recently proposed Draft New Education Policy 2019, the report also offers concrete recommendations and suggestions that have the potential to shape this critical sector in the next few years.
Read the full report [archived PDF].