What is the Future of Higher Education in India?

8 minute read
The future of higher education in India

The United States is today well known for its world-renowned education system, making it one of the most coveted study destinations in the whole world. India, on the other hand, has been lacking in attaining a high global position in academic excellence as can be seen in the very few Indian universities ranking among the top universities in the world. But did you know that most American universities were lagging behind those of Europe in 1900, but overtook them within a few decades? Can India attain a level of excellence in higher education to gradually rise to the top like the US? Well, through the newly introduced National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, the Indian government has taken a step towards this direction by attempting to restructure the educational system in India starting from the primary level in order to provide a quality education that adheres to the global standards. Along with this, there have been talks of letting top universities around the world set up branch campuses in India. So, how will this impact the educational sector in India? Take a look at this blog to find out the future of higher education in India!

India Encouraging Foreign Universities to Set Up their Campuses

How can foreign universities contribute to the future of higher education in India? As part of promoting India as a global study destination, the NEP 2020 states that high performing universities in India may have a chance of setting up campuses in foreign countries in the future, while at the same time selected foreign universities, for example, those ranking among the top 100 globally, will be encouraged to set up their branch campuses in India. According to the NEP 2020, these branch campuses will be granted exemptions by the Indian government ‘regarding regulatory, governance, and content norms on par with other autonomous institutions of India.’ So, in the near future, we might see a Harvard in Hyderabad, an Oxford in Kolkata, or a Princeton in Mumbai. So in addition to the reputed institutes such as IIT’s, Indian students will get a chance to earn their degree from a top global university, albeit from a branch campus. An exchange of ideas and resources that will result from this will benefit the country’s economy, while also ensuring a decrease in the loss of talented individuals migrating to other countries for study or jobs. Instead, talented international students may choose to pursue their higher education in India, leading to a rise in India’s position as an international study destination.

Also Read: Top Universities in the World

Expanding into a Global Study Destination

What makes India a suitable option for top international universities to consider setting up their campuses now? If we look at the new National Education Policy, firstly there has been a total restructuration of the education system beginning from the primary level to the higher degree level. The restructuring at the bachelor’s and above levels have a similarity with the system followed in countries such as the US, which would enable students to transfer to another university without losing their credits. Also, the NEP puts immense stress on the adoption of an interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary approach in the future of higher education in India. This system is itself in line with the international standards of education, which does not keep students constrained by the boundaries of a certain discipline, but offers flexibility to choose from a variety of courses from different disciplines. These reforms in the education sector will not only make it easier for foreign universities to set up campuses in India but also play a role in attracting international students to pursue their degrees in India. Over time, we may also find that the number of Indian alumni of prestigious global universities are on an increase, with India becoming an increasingly preferred location of study for both Indian and international students.

Understanding the Gurukul Education Ststem!

How is it Beneficial for Indian Students?

While many are apprehensive about the possibility of Indian universities suffering from a comparative disadvantage in competing with international university campuses in India, there are certain advantages that these branch campuses can bring to the field of education in India which can lead to the betterment of the overall education system of the country. For Indian students, this will open up immense opportunities to attain quality education, without the hassle of going abroad. Let’s look at some of the benefits:

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  • With new campuses and universities being set up, the total number of seats at the highly coveted institutions in India (both Indian and foreign) will also increase, which would lead to a more even distribution of competition for securing seats
  • Many talented Indian students travel to other countries every year to study at a prestigious university. With the establishment of branch campuses, they will have an option of getting their degree at a much reduced cost in their home country, but with the same benefits!
  • The degrees will be taught according to global standards by highly qualified faculty from India and abroad
  • Students will get more chances to participate in global exchange programs and will be eligible for more opportunities worldwide

So, as we can see, the future of higher education in India looks quite promising for Indian students, with more opportunities of studying a wide range of courses from top institutions of the country and the world.

Vision 2040: A Foresight into the Future of Higher Education in India

According to an EY India article, there has been a notable movement in the education business toward the global Education 4.0 revolution, which has brought increased flexibility, evolution in education delivery, and better customization. As a result, it meets the demands of today’s students. The epidemic has expedited the popularity of online education, and a worldwide movement toward digital and tech-fueled learning has served as a testbed for Education 4.0 and its concentrated emphasis on ‘the future is digital.’ Visionary documents such as the new National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 and the Budget 2021 can assist in influencing and create some of the innovative features that institutes are implementing today.

What is Vision 2040? 

Education systems have developed over time in reaction to social, economic, and technological advances, which in turn have an influence on education system evolution. Education 3.0 has given way to Education 4.0, which brings with it a plethora of educational programs, courses, instructional techniques, learning experiences, and academic support systems that are tailored to the learner’s specific requirements, ambitions, and interests. As a result, under Education 4.0, the student will always be at the center of the educational ecosystem, learning both at the institution and from peers, industry, and society at large.

Where does India Stand Today?

With technology functioning as a catalyst for innovation, changing student demands, acceptance of online learning, the pandemic’s impact, and the introduction of new education policy emerge as important drivers for the education system’s continuous change. The transition to a digital form of education has created problems for stakeholders who are struggling to adjust to the ‘new normal.’ The pandemic has reinforced this change in higher education and served as a testbed for Education 4.0, bringing customized learning and technology integration ideas to life. India’s new NEP, which will be implemented in 2020, has the potential to expand on and enhance some of the most sustainable efforts and initiatives in the new paradigm.

Suggestions for the Future

We understand that it is critical to identify sustainable practices within the higher education ecosystem and ensure that key stakeholders are comfortable with their experience. While envisioning a revolutionary and progressive higher education landscape, revisions, redesigns, and restructuring across the higher education ecosystem might assist institutes in providing a quality student-centric and holistic experience to learners. 

Having said that, there is a constant need to apply creative and transformative approaches from basic to higher education levels in order to make the Indian educational system more relevant and competitive worldwide. Industrial collaboration must be present in higher education establishments for the creation of curricula, the organization of expert talks, internships, live projects, career counseling, and placements. 

Furthermore, through student exchange, faculty exchange programs, and other cooperation with high-quality national and international higher educational institutes, higher educational institutes can increase their quality, reputation, and credibility. For improved quality and collaborative research, the government should encourage collaboration between Indian higher education institutes and top international universities, as well as connectivity between national research laboratories and research centers of top institutions. 

Last but not least, in order to enhance the higher education system, we must improve teaching methodology, create synergies between research and teaching, and encourage alliances between higher education institutions, research centers, and companies. This is vital not just to ensure economic progress, but also for social cohesion and to empower the country’s youth.

Top 10 Indian Universities as per QS Rankings

When we say that the Indian education system is currently expanding and growing at a rapid growth rate, it is evident because of the institutions and universities that are making their mark and position on global ranking charts such as the QS World University Rankings 2022. Let’s have a look at the top 10 Indian universities and institutions that have made it to the QS global rankings.

University/College/InstituteLocation QS World University Rankings 2022
Indian Institute of Technology BombayMumbai =177
Indian Institute of Technology DelhiNew Delhi 185
Indian Institute of ScienceBangalore=186
Indian Institute of Technology MadrasChennai =255
Indian Institute of Technology KanpurKanpur =277
Indian Institute of Technology KharagpurKharagpur 280
Indian Institute of Technology GuwahatiGuwahati =395
Indian Institute of Technology RoorkeeRoorkee =400
University of DelhiNew Delhi 500-510
Jawaharlal Nehru UniversityNew Delhi 561-570


Is India’s higher education system Future-Ready?

The demographic trajectory in India is such that it will soon exceed China as the world’s biggest population, as will the demand for higher education in the coming years. During the last decade, higher education has grown at a rapid pace.

What is the future of education in India?

India is well-positioned to take this step forward by increasing access to tech-based infrastructure, electricity, and affordable internet connectivity, fueled by flagship programs such as Digital India and initiatives from the Ministry of Education, such as the Digital Infrastructure for School Education (DIKSHA).

How Higher Education in India is changing?

In comparison to the data at the time of independence, the number of universities has risen by 30 times, colleges by 74 times, and student enrollment has increased by more than 100 times in the official system of higher education.

Is India good for higher education?

In the QS Higher Education System Strength Rankings 2018, India’s higher education system was ranked 26th in the world, and is particularly well-known for the quality of its education in engineering and technology subjects, spearheaded by the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore and the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology, among other institutes.

What is the higher education in India?

Universities and colleges make up India’s higher education institutional system. According to 2015 data, India has 760 universities and 38,498 colleges. Conventional universities, Deemed Universities, and Institutions of National Importance are the three categories of universities.

Relatable Reads

While this is a great step towards improving the future of higher education in India, it would need at least another ten years to properly implement the various plans of the government, as well as the proper set up of branch campuses of top global universities in India. For students who want to study abroad in the meanwhile, our experts at Leverage Edu can guide you in choosing the course most suitable for you as per your interests, while also helping you in the application process for the university of your choice. Reach out to us today!

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  1. Hi I’m sugapriyan for tamilnadu I’m studing bachelor of physiotherapy final year in excel college of physiotherapy & research center, do you hlep me for my further studies (MPT) i have no ideas so please contact any counselor with me
    Thank you

  1. Hi I’m sugapriyan for tamilnadu I’m studing bachelor of physiotherapy final year in excel college of physiotherapy & research center, do you hlep me for my further studies (MPT) i have no ideas so please contact any counselor with me
    Thank you