‘Rankings don’t reflect level-playing field’
Metrics like relative cost of education might better reflect Indian priorities: NAAC
International rankings help Indian institutions to benchmark themselves to a global standard but may not reflect a level-playing field, says National Assessment and Accreditation Council chairperson V.S. Chauhan. He said other metrics such as the relative cost of education might better reflect Indian priorities and strengths.
Speaking at the India launch of the QS World University rankings on Wednesday which showed that most Indian institutions have slipped since last year, Dr. Chauhan said he was “not so sure” about whether we have reached the scenario of a level-playing field with regard to international rankings. He noted that students graduating from Indian universities find admission into the top universities of the world and do high quality work which reflects the strength of the education system and wondered whether any parameter could be developed to measure that.
Another metric should be the cost of education, he said, pointing out that there is a tremendous social responsibility aspect to Indian higher education. “Look at the amount spent in an IIT on a single undergraduate versus the amount spent on a student in a university in the top 50 in QS rankings,” said Dr. Chauhan. “I think some of the ranking systems will look totally inverted if some of these parameters are somehow shown.”
On Thursday, the Ministry of Human Resource Development will release its higher education rankings for domestic institutions. The National Institution Ranking Framework, launched in 2016, has a different focus than most world rankings. It uses parameters related to student and faculty strength, use of financial resources, research papers and patents, graduation outcomes, inclusivity and gender, geographical, disability and socio-economic diversity as well as perception and reputation.