Tertiary education in India - statistics & facts

India’s higher education system ranks third in terms of public funding next to the United States and China. The higher authority for education at the tertiary level in India is the University Grants Commission. It oversees the quality and standards of the established curricula while also taking on the role of advising and coordinating between central and state governments. According to the 2011 census, the number of graduates passing with degrees is expected to rise exponentially, particularly in the union territories like Delhi. Furthermore, India opened over a thousand new universities and approximately 40 thousand colleges in 2020, with the majority of them being state universities followed by private universities. In 2021, India had the highest number of universities worldwide followed by the United States and Indonesia.

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on higher education

India has seen a paradigm shift in education models over the past two decades ranging from Education 1.0 to Education 4.0, thrust forward by the COVID-19 pandemic. While the Education 1.0 model was teacher-centered with one-way communication where the teacher imparts information to the classroom and the use of technology was discouraged, the 4.0 model, by contrast, is entirely interactive, primarily one-on-one regardless of virtual or on-site, with more room for creativity and innovation. The progress made by higher learning institutions in response to triggers such as the rapidly changing and emerging technologies and the pandemic has been tremendous. Not only has it accelerated the transition to a digital economy but it also has been effectively able to implement an education 4.0 model that is based around personalized learning and integration of technology making it more flexible. However, both students and faculty have faced certain challenges relative to the curricula and pedagogy.

Rising cost of higher education in India

Despite the emergence of newer models of education along with the use of the internet and other advanced technologies, the cost of higher education is seeing a steady rise in this new paradigm. The increasing demand for better quality education and the increasing administrative and student services costs, compounded with a decrease in provision for financial aid and scholarships has led to an all-time high in the price of education. Consequently, higher education has become a luxury for many learners especially those from disadvantaged sections of society. This has led to education becoming more exclusive rather than empowering the masses with better opportunities in the job market through further education. Paradoxically, despite this phenomenon, many students still prefer to secure loans and travel abroad for higher education due to its perceived superior quality. Although the number of students enrolled in a foreign university declined in 2020 owing to the pandemic, this number is expected to surge drastically by 2024.

Interesting statistics

In the following 7 chapters, you will quickly find the 32 most important statistics relating to "Tertiary education in India".

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