Why Indian institutions do not bother about foreign ratings

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September 21st, 2012 M Saraswathy

The latest QS Rankings saw a dismal performance by most educational institutions in India. Apart from the IITs which also stood well below the Top 200 institutes in the world, other institutions including the Delhi University stood below Top 400 institutes.

Though international experts and critics of the Indian educational system may term it as a failure on the institution’s part to match up to the world standards, the question to be asked is whether these institutes actually aspire for a world ranking.

Among the 50,000 plus colleges in India, only a small percentage choose to be a part of the world rankings in the first place. Experts might argue that lack of necessary infrastructure and other facilities may prohibit such institutes from applying; even those who do have the requisite facilities do not wish to apply.

“The concern is not about not being able to compete with their international standards; it is about what would be the next logical step after the rankings are awarded,” says the associate dean from an engineering college in West Bengal. He might be right in his view, as his institute features prominently in Indian magazine rankings. And to add to it, a third or fourth position in these magazine rankings would look more glamorous on the institute’s website rather than a 400th position in QS rankings.

There are even others, like a technical institute in Tamil Nadu, who feel that they don’t stand a chance compared to the US institutes. “Who should we bother to apply, when we know that we wouldn’t be able to overthrow a US or a UK college?” wonders the principal of the institute. What they somehow do not understand is that if they could improve their existing facilities, they would definitely be able to match up the standards.

While research and internationalisation have been identified as key issues in India by the ranking authorities at QS, institutes are far from realising the lacuna in their system. Instead of trying to improve their academic infrastructure and research focus, the institutes seem to be content with their existing clout among Indian students. It is exactly here that India and its educational institutes are losing out.

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3 Responses to “Why Indian institutions do not bother about foreign ratings”

  1. Atma Gandhi Says:

    1. Indian Institutes must improve their facilities and Faculties without bothering for ratings. 2. Research papers based on empirical studies & thoughtful analysis should be published to compensate for lack of expensive LABs. 3. Developing students into people of integrity, hard work and commitment should be object of teaching Institutes

  2. Shravan Rungta Says:

    Rankings and Ratings are overrated mechanisms designed to create a false sense of superiority and exclusivity.
    HOWEVER
    • International ranking will become important when Indian institutions have international ambitions.
    • I believe the Indian Education system beats itself down too much. There are over a dozen institutions in India in every field; be it Medical, Management, Engineering and others; where the quality of education can match any of the world’s top institutes.
    • However with the rapid pace of globalization; it would not harm the Indian institutes to start with regional, continental and then global rankings. It should be a gradual process.
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  3. B R V Shanbhag Says:

    There are many finest colleges in India. The foreign institutions pay a hype game for attracting Indian students. Those universities never had the experience of mass education like in India. Our colleges are not dependent on foreign students unlike US UK Or Australian colleges.
    Why should they bother about ratings.

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