A discussion with Ashoka cofounder Vineet Gupta on how India can compete globally to rank more universities

India has a robust education system with many universities and colleges, but it ranks low in global university rankings with only 9 universities in the top 500. To compete globally with nations like the United States and UK, which have 83 and 46 universities on the list respectively, India needs to focus on several key areas. Universities can rank higher globally with more funding for higher education, which can improve the resources and infrastructure they have access to. Vineet Gupta Ashoka University Founder claims, ” Some of the areas in which Indian institutions do not fare well include research, number of international faculty and students and global perception.

While competing with universities around the world, India will need to significantly increase its funding for research. Students’ perceptions of India as a study destination also need to improve exponentially. This is a function of infrastructure and opportunities for students coming to India to study. A university that ranks highly in the global rankings often has a strong research and innovation focus.

The Indian universities do well in terms of teaching, but poor in terms of research, and need to focus on research and innovation to compete globally. Interestingly, Indian students perform exceptionally well abroad in research.

Our best researchers are being lured away by global universities. The research output both in terms of publications per faculty and number of citations ranks poorly for most Indian institutions. “Globally, research in universities has been funded by government. In the US, federal agencies such as DARPA and NIH fueled research post World War II which led to the domination of US universities in research rankings.

The NEP 2021 has proposed the setting up a central body to fund research (National Research Foundation) on the lines of NSF in US. This will be very welcome. Along with this, Indian universities should put attention to enhancing infrastructure, both by funding and through recruiting international faculty and by offering students a top-notch learning environment,” asserts Vineet Gupta.

The perception of an institute among academics worldwide is also an important criterion. Improved rankings can be achieved through strong global partnerships between institutions. By collaborating across institutes, faculty are able to gain a deeper understanding of their respective fields as well as develop diverse viewpoints and create new knowledge. Universities in India should look for ways to collaborate with foreign institutions on research and education initiatives.

“Any university that wants to be successful must engage in international collaborations because these partnerships give students access to a wider variety of materials and viewpoints and help the institution establish a worldwide reputation. Indian universities have the capacity to compete on a global scale, but in order to do so, attention should be paid to boosting research, investing in infrastructure and encouraging international collaborations. By addressing these challenges, the Indian educational system may build a strong reputation, gain worldwide recognition and add more universities to the list of top universities in the world.,” states Vineet Gupta Ashoka University Cofounder.

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