The number of Indian universities being featured in the Times Higher Education’s (THE) Work University Ranking may be the fifth-highest in the world (behind the US, Japan, UK and China), but when it comes to quality, none could make it to the top 300, let alone the aspirational 100 this year. This is considered as the poorest performance of Indian institutes since 2012.
Meanwhile, IIT-Bombay, which finds itself at the top in the recently released Quacquarelli Symonds (QS)’s World Employability Ranking, stated that it did not submit any data to THE this year. The director of IIT-Delhi, V Ramgopal Rao in a social media post commented that the “rankings are not the best indicators of Indian institutes”. Talking to indianexpress.com, he said, “THE is completely disconnected with what is happening in India. They have no idea about our institutions. QS ranks us very highly in research.”
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However, in the QS ranking on employability announced this week and the QS ranking released earlier on overall global university rankings, none of the Indian institutes could make it to the top 100. The results, though, were much better than THE as India had four entries in the top 200.
THE Ranking has blamed the lack of investment and talented academicians, which results in brain drain and lack of research, as the key reasons for the low ranking of Indian institutions.
Phil Baty, editorial director, Global Ranking, Times Higher Education (THE) said, “It takes a serious investment to maintain world-class classrooms and laboratories and, more importantly, to provide favourable terms and conditions to talented academics, to ensure they remain in Indian universities and do not contribute to a brain-drain overseas.”
Appreciating the IITs for their “good teaching”, he remarked that these institutes do not have a “rich research culture”. He said, “Many Indian institutions are very strong in teaching, especially the IITs, but they do not carry out as much research as competitor institutions and do not have as deep and as rich a research culture. The research will be vital as nations develop into knowledge economies, and as young people need to be equipped with the problem-solving skills and the resilience to cope with a rapidly changing jobs market in the fourth industrial revolution.”
Baty noted that all is not bad for India, “It is true that Indian institutions are falling behind in relation to other nations’ universities. This does not necessarily mean that they are in decline, simply that they are not improving as rapidly as other nations.” He added, “It is a long and challenging journey (for India), which needs clear investment and policy focus.”