Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2018 released recently and brought along disappointment for Indian institutes.
With not a single Indian university in top 200, the first one that enters the list is Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in the 251-300, falling from the 201-250 band of the last edition. Next, comes the renowned IITs; while IIT Bombay and IIT Kharagpur have sustained themselves in the same groups of rank 351-400 and 501-600 respectively, IIT Delhi and IIT Kanpur have slid down from 401-500 to 501-600.
According to editorial director of global rankings of THE, Phil Baty, “It is disappointing that India has declined in THE World University Rankings amid increasing global competition. As leading universities in other Asian territories such as China, Hong Kong and Singapore are consistently rising up the rankings, in part thanks to high and sustained levels of funding, India’s flagship the Indian Institute of Science moves further away from the elite top 200.”
With this arises a dire need to analyse and evaluate the reasons behind this fall and work out solutions to elevate the quality of our institutions.
“There has been fall in the ranks of all institutes of the country. This is to be studied as on what standards the assessment has been made. After a thorough analysis ways to improve the institute would be decided,” said professor Neeraj Misra, Dean academics at IIT Kanpur.
The criteria on which these rankings are based are by themselves a major reason why Indian universities are so far behind. These include academic performance, teaching methods, research works, international outlook, industry income and teacher-student ratio.
Our universities, unfortunately, fall behind when it comes to research influence score and research income. The importance of research has only recently got attention and mostly by top institutes only. Also, our institutes are less diverse, that is, they are mostly specialized for a single field like IITs for science or IIMs management only. Due to this, the volume of research work is less whereas foreign universities have multiple academic disciplines within a university contributing to the large volume of citations.However, the country’s overall research income and research quality have improved this year, implying that there is a possibility to improve our rankings in the future. The universities should take its advantage and do some serious efforts to aloft on this front.
The other criterion where Indian universities fare poorly is internationalization. “Government policy strictly limits the number of students from abroad who can study in
India and prevents international scholars from being hired into long-term faculty positions,” – THE. For instance, IIT Kanpur has 6472 students including only 1% foreign pupil. The other Asian universities are rising at a faster rate in attracting foreign students due to which Indian universities’ ranks are going down comparatively.
This aspect might improve in near future due to the world class university plan which proposed to establish 20 world class universities in India by relaxing norms regarding bringing in foreign students and collaborations with foreign institutes.
With the technical aspects being covered, there still must be some drawbacks in our education system by virtue of which a total of only 30 institutions, dropped from 31, made it to this list of top 1,000 global institutions.
The quality of education is not taken all that seriously in all colleges, with a majority of them only completing the curriculum and focusing on generating marks and giving out degrees.
They need to focus on creating and imparting a value education in the process of which they will automatically rise and enter the competition.
The other Indian universities that made it to the list include Jadavpur University, Aligarh Muslim University, BITS Pilani, University of Calcutta, University of Delhi, Panjab University, Savitribai Phule Pune University, Sri Venkateswara University, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Tezpur University, Banaras Hindu University, Indian School of Mines, National Institute of Technology Rourkela, Amrita University, and Andhra University.