How Indian Educational Institutions can improve in global rankings – Part One of Two

There are several premier organizations  that conduct survey of Education Institutions globally and rank them based on various criteria.  A good starting point before we go into the subject topic on how Indian educational institutions can raise the bar for themselves , will be to refresh our minds with some of the global rankings results for 2016/17.

We have QS World University rankings for 2016-17 which was based on 6 different criteria having varying weightage.

Academic Reputation 40%

Employer Reputation 10%

Student Faculty Ratio 20%

Citations per faculty 20%

International Faculty ratio and International Student ratio 5% each

Based on Overall criteria, only 4 Institutes from India featured in the top 250 of the 936 surveyed. Indian Institute of Science ranked at 152, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi at 185, IIT Bombay at 219 and IIT Madras at 249. While  ,there are few other IITs that were featured further down  in the list in the 300-400 ranking,  a point worth highlighting is that the only Indian University that featured at all in the list is University of Delhi that ranked somewhere between 501-550.

However, based on Individual parameters, we do have some representation from Indian University in the Global Ranking.

  • In the Academic Reputation, we have  Jawaharlal Nehru University(JNU) ranked at 240 and University of Delhi(UOD) at 249
  • In the Employer reputation , we have UOD at 180
  • In the Citation per faculty  , we have University of Calcutta and Banaras Hindu University (BHU)featuring in the list at #425 and #469

Another prominent survey released by the Times Higher Education (THE)survey which can be viewed here.  The Criteria for the evaluation were based on Citations, Teaching, Industry Income, International Outlook and research.  In this survey, Indian Institute of Science is the only Indian representation claiming a spot in the top 250 in the 201-250 band of the 980 institutions.

Alongside, let us also have a look at the first of its kind Indian Rankings 2016announced by the Union  Human Resource Development Ministry. Besides IISc claiming the Numero Uno position, there are other Indian Universities that are featuring in the top 10 and these include, JNU ranked as country’s third best University followed by Hyderabad Central University at #4, UOD at #6, BHU at 7th position and Aligarh Muslim university at #10.These rankings were based on demographic parameters such as gender and geographic diversity, facilities for differently abled and representation of students from socio-economic backward communities.

What these surveys do tell us:

  • One, they can be very useful for Students to make informed decisions about  where they would like to study, depending on the academic or employment pursuit they have in mind.
  • It also tells us that there are a handful of Indian Universities besides the IITs and other Institutes of Repute that are actually trying to go that extra mile to bring themselves up to International standards and find themselves a place in global rankings. Good example of this is the University of Delhi which features not just in India’s top 10 rankings but also in global list, though not quite on top.
  • It gives clarity on what parameters Indian Universities should be looking for to improve and raise bar for themselves in order to qualify for or upgrade themselves in global rankings.

Summarizing the key parameters that each of the above surveys have used in the rankings, we could sum up at least 3 benchmarks that educational institutions  should be working on to improve rankings.

  • Internationalization
  • Graduate Employability
  • Quality of Relevant Research

There are multiple ways in which each of these benchmarks can be worked upon. In Part 2 of this blog, we will look at how this can be achieved  and we will also try and relate them to the Government of India’s efforts  in its new Thrust to the Education sector. Stay tuned!

Written by Asha Sampath

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