Dr Anil Sahasrabudhe, Chairman, AICTE was speaking at the BW Higher Education Conclave in Bengaluru
While India has over 800 Universities that offer higher education, however, the crisis of quality education has stopped the sector from leveraging its full potential.
Underling the challenges that the higher education sector is beset with, Dr Anil Sahasrabudhe, Chairman, AICTE during his keynote address at the BW Higher Education Conclave stated, “There has been a constant challenge for the higher education sector in the country. If you look at the data, more institutions were established in the last one and a half decades compared to the institution’s established form 1950’s to 1980’s.”
With the government’s plan to provide higher education to the remotest parts of the country, most of the higher education institutions in the country have been set up in these regions. Speaking about this ease of accessibility, Sahasrabudhe added, “The good thing is that we have created access to education in the nook and corner of the country. However, the biggest quality remains the quality of education. Keeping this in mind, AICTE is planning to close all those institutions where for the last five years the admissions’ are less than 30%, as they have no business to be running these institutions. To avoid it, the other alternative is if a couple of such low admission institutions can come together and decide to merge. In that case, I think there could be the possibility of these institutions surviving. At the same time, we don’t want to produce graduates who are not employable. This is a challenge which every institution is facing. So we have to take the call whether to keep those institutions running or not.”
The mismatch between formal education and employability is a big concern for the higher education sector in the country. Speaking about the way ahead to deal with the situation, Sahasrabudhe added, “The situation is so challenging that in many institutions almost 50% of the seats are lying vacant because the parents and students don’t trust the quality of the education being offered. According to latest statistics, 80% of students complete their education within the stipulated time. The other 20% are left behind for one reason or another.”
According to a recent study, among all the graduates, only 30-35% are getting campus placements, which has gradually increased to 40-45%. “Though the industry is saying that most of the graduates are not employable, however almost 45% get campus placements. The rest go out to find jobs on their own or start their own business. In fact, there is no data available about people who are finding jobs on their own.”
Speaking about the need for Indian higher institutions to compete at the global level, Sahasrabudhe said, “We often see that among the global 500 institutions, only four or five are from India. The reason is that when it comes to the international outlook, we have very few institutions that are ready to meet. The need of the hour is to address this crisis.”