“India must work towards increasing its current gross enrollment ratio”
Established in 1984, Vellore Institute of Technology ( VIT), Tamil Nadu, was the brain child of its founder and chancellor, G. Vishwanathan. Built on 350 acres of land, this premier private engineering college has broken records by achieving 100 per cent placement for its students. With the student strength of 18,000, VIT has adopted full- flexibility credit system allowing students the freedom to choose subjects, professors and even the class timing. He discusses the relevance of an international system of education and the growing need for universities in the country with Deepshikha Punj.
India should open at least 1,500 new universities to improve its gross enrollment ratio (GER). But even after the government approval, not even 100 universities have been opened. In all the advanced countries, the GER varies from 50 to 90 per cent, whereas in our country it is 12 per cent. Availability of higher education facility is much below than what is required. People should misunderstand this for mushrooming of colleges. Our requirement is of more universities. Between a college and a university, in most counties, higher education is offered on university campuses. In our country almost 90 per cent of higher education is offered in college campuses, only 10 per cent is at the university campus.
India and the world
Personally, I am not against foreign university coming in. It will help us improve the quality of education. But at the same time, cost of education will go up. That is the experience of some developing countries. My suggestion would be, they can be encouraged but they must be asked to choose their own partners in India. Even if they leave, students and country will not be affected.
India has about 400 government and 150 private universities, but our country still needs at least 1,500 more universities.
Ride the global tide
Every year more than 1 lakh students go abroad for higher studies in
the US, Europe and other coun- tries. This is an indication that Indian students want to get the best of education. It is a warning to improve our education system. VIT has nearly 100 Mou’s with foreign universities with faculty exchange programmes. The most important feature is the semester abroad programme where students are encouraged to go out and study one semester in the foreign university of their choice.
Future of education
India gets the maximum remittance of money, probably the highest in the world. This can be put to good use by starting more universities and encouraging a healthy GER.