Universities, colleges to be classified in terms of quality quartiles

Written by Kirtika Suneja | New Delhi | Updated: Jan 16 2012, 06:24am hrs
Universities and colleges in India may soon be classified in terms of quality quartiles, which will decide the infrastructure and financing support they get from the government. According to the ministry of human resource developments agenda for the Twelfth Plan, the highest amount of financial support would be provided to the lowest quality institutions, especially those in rural regions, remote areas and hilly terrain.

The classification on basis on quality will also help in achieving 30% gross enrolment ratio (GER) in higher education by 2020 which is 15% at present. GER is an indicator of the actual number of students enrolled visa-a-vis the number of potential students.

However, with increased private participation in the sector, the ministry says that government institutions alone will not achieve such a large enrolment target. Therefore, huge investment in private sector will be necessary.

Private sector involvement in higher education has been on the governments agenda since last year when it mulled new financing schemes where private parties could help in setting up institutes in the country.

According to a joint report by Ficci and Ernst &Young, the higher education system in India needs an investment of Rlakh crore by 2020 to create an additional capacity of 25 million seats. The private sector, which accounts for 52% of the total enrollment, would invest R50,000 crore of this per year.

The quality quartiles maybe created on the basis of GER and in a report to the Planning Commission, the ministry has suggested that Finance Commission may be approached to provide non-plan grant for some underdeveloped states where the GER is less than all India average.