INDIAN HIGHER EDUCATION
India is the third-largest education network in the world after the US and China, with around 950 universities and 45,000 colleges. The Indian Higher Education system is known for its quality of education and affordability, especially in the engineering and technology disciplines. Indian institutes offer equally competitive non-STEM disciplines such as commerce, business management, humanities, arts, social affairs, and allied medical sciences, and are as popular as STEM courses.
The higher education system in India is a complex construct where change is constant. Many developments to the system with the growing global trends; and a building expanse of institutions ensures necessary revisions and upgrades to make for exciting courses and specializations offered in Indian institutes. Students can choose from a diverse range of courses at India’s many institutes.
India India’s institutes mainly comprise of universities and colleges, further characterised as Central universities, State universities, private universities, deemed universities, public colleges, private colleges, and autonomous colleges. India is also home to prestigious institutes recognised as Institutes of National Importance (INI) and Institutes of Eminence (IoE). Distance learning and open education are also features of the Indian higher education system and are looked after by the Distance Education Council.
The Study in India program has partnered with more than 100 premier Indian institutes, including 10 state universities, 20 deemed universities, 40 Institutes of National Importance, 5 Institutes of Eminence, and many top colleges. Most Indian institutes offer education for the following program level
University Grants Commission (UGC)
The statutory body in the country that provides funds if required and ensures Indian institutes maintain quality standards while measuring up in terms of global educational trends is the University Grants Commission, popularly referred to as the UGC. This agency was founded under the Categorization of Universities (only) for Grant of Graded Autonomy Regulations, 2018. The UGC categorizes universities into three categories, namely - Category-I, Category-II and Category-III.
Category-I University is recognised if it satisfies one or more of the following:
- Should have been accredited by NAAC with a score of 3.51 or above;
- Should have received a corresponding accreditation grade/ score from a reputed accreditation agency as empanelled by the UGC; or,
- Should have been ranked among top 500 of reputed world rankings, such as Times Higher Education or QS.
Category-II University is recognised if it satisfies one or more of the following:
- Should have been accredited by NAAC with a score of 3.26 and above, upto 3.50; or,
- Should have received a corresponding accreditation grade / score from a reputed accreditation agency as empanelled by the UGC.
Category-III University is recognised if it doesn’t fall under the above two categories.
National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC)
The National Assessment and Accreditation Council is an autonomous body established by the University of Grants Commission (UGC) of India to assess and accredit higher educational institutes in the country. It is an outcome of the recommendations of the National Policy on Education (1986) which laid emphasis on upholding the quality of higher education in India. To promote the following core values among the HEIs of the country:
- Contributing to National Development
- Fostering Global Competencies among students
- Inculcating a Value System among students
- Promoting the Use of Technology
- Quest for Excellence
National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF)
The National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) was approved by the Ministry of Education (formerly, Ministry of Human Resources and Development) in 2015. This framework has been outlined to rank Indian higher education institutions across the country. Indian institutes are ranked based on the following parameters:
- Teaching, Learning and Resources
- Research and Professional Practices
- Graduation Outcomes
- Outreach and Inclusive