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Exclusive: Seven key trends to be watched out for India in the QS World University Rankings 2016-17

By   /  September 11, 2016  /  Comments Off on Exclusive: Seven key trends to be watched out for India in the QS World University Rankings 2016-17

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By Rudra Narayan Sahoo, Mumbai: India is one of largest education systems in the world with a sizable youth population. Further, India contributes significant number students to the international education market. The thirteenth edition of the QS World University Rankings, compiled by global higher education think tank QS Quacquarelli Symonds, which was released this week (6 September 2016), assumes significance. The ranking outcomes will have profound impact on the students’ decisions, parent community and academic institutions.

As per the QS World University Rankings 2016-17, Indian Institute of Science (IISC) Bangalore remains India’s highest-ranked institution, but drops out of the top 150. It is now ranked 152 compared to 147 last year.  Rankings of major IITs declined this year at the thirteenth edition of the QS World University Rankings expect IIT Madras. Nine of the ten Indian universities ranked 700th or above drop this year. Here, Skilloutlook presents seven key trends in India that will be closely watched by student community, parents, academic institutions, and policy makers.

1. IISC Bangalore to, but slips: Although IISC Bangalore emerged again India’s highest-ranked institution, but drops out of the top 150. It is now ranked 152 compared to 147 last year. Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi stood at second in India, which is globally placed at 185 compared to 179 last year.

2. Fall in IITs: Major IITs posted declines in their rankings except IIT Madras. Nine of the ten Indian universities ranked 700th or above dropped this year. As per the QS World University Rankings list, IIT Bombay was featured at third position in India.

3. IIT Madras bucks the trend: The most surprising trend is the rise of IIT Madras. The only silver lings is IIT Madras, which breaks into the global top 250 after a five-place rise. It is observed that IIT Madras has been constantly improving its QS ranking in the last three years. Here it can noted that the institute was at 322 in 2014 and has moved up 73 positions in three years.

4. Low level of faculty-student ratio and PhD –qualified researchers cause of worry: QS Global Rakings report mentioned that two reasons – presence of lower Ph.D. scholars and lack of International faculty ratio – were attributed for poor performance of higher educational institutes in India. Ben Sowter, Head of Research at the QS Intelligence Unit, said “India’s relatively low numbers of PhD-qualified researchers, which has a direct and deleterious impact on the research productivity and impact of India’s universities. This problem is exacerbated by India hiring and attracting fewer PhD-qualified researchers from abroad,”. Sowter further noted that no Indian institution ranks above 700th for QS’s international faculty ratio metric.

5. Performing regional rankings, but fails in global rankings: The performance of Indian institutions in the QS recent regional Rankings (Asia and BRICS) suggest that India is gaining some ground on its regional competitors. It is confirmed that India is making substantial and commendable progress towards ensuring that more of its tertiary-age population have access to tertiary education. However, the global rankings table indicates that substantial challenges remain.

6. Investment – both human and capital – need of hour: The global trend has suggested that investment is a key differentiator in rankings as Russia and South Korea emerged as gainers while Western Europe nations were losers. Quality education is strongly correlated with education budget and investments in the higher learning system. India has to increase investments both human and capital dramatically to reverse its fortune in the global education market.

7. Global ranking agencies fail to honour India’s inclusive higher education policy: India’s education policy is very balanced and inclusive as government sponsored-higher educational institutes in India are mandated under constitutional laws to admit specific percentage of students belong to weaker sections of the society. This law is popularly known as “Reservation Policy in Education” in India, which has wider socio-economic impact in bringing equality in the society. But, International Agencies of the Western World have failed to understand and recognize this powerful tool how to make higher education accessible and affordable to each sections of the society. In the rating parameters, accessible and affordable of higher education should get great importance.

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