Participation of Indian Universities in the World University Rankings

Participation of Indian Universities in the World University Rankings

The aim of Indian universities is to currently play on the world stage. Therefore, rankings offer them a major platform for a global benchmark and visibility.

Indian universities have been showing increasing affinity towards participating in the international rankings. This will enable an increase in the internationalization of higher education. Chief Global Affairs Officer of the Times Higher Education (THE), London, stated during his recent visit to India that there has been a massive increase in the number of Indian universities participating in the rankings.

He stated that the representation of India in the Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings has more than doubled over the years. There were 31 universities in 2016 from India that was featured in the rankings. However, the number of Universities has gone up to 75 which has, in terms of participation, made India the most represented nation.

Indian Universities play on the World Stage

The aim of Indian universities is to currently play on the world stage. Therefore, rankings offer them a major platform for a global benchmark and visibility. Moreover, the rankings have now become a sort of advertising and marketing of academic strengths. It enables the enhancement of research partnerships, exchange programs, and dual degrees.

There are various metrics that are carefully calibrated to rank an institute. It tracks and rewards the flow of international academic and student talent, measures collaborative research internationally, and celebrates the partnership between industry-university. The world rankings are a vital tool that would help in supporting the ambitious program of India in terms of development and internationalization according to the National Education Policy 2020.

Significant increase in the scores of India

Between 2018 to 2023, in the past five years, the scores of India have changed significantly on different indicators of performance. India has been improving in a majority of areas. They include Field-weighted Citation Impact (FWCI) which is an indicator that confirms the rise in the research influence. The world is outpaced by the creation of doctorates and the next generation of researchers in India.

The reports of THE were released based on a survey of 40,000 academics. It reveals that there is a rising staff-student ratio. Moreover, there is an improvement in the ability to attract funding from industries. This has, hence, enhanced research productivity. Between 2022-2023, the metric changes, and it has shown that India has improved on FWCI, publications, international sponsorship, and more. However, India has encountered a drop in industry income, international staff recruitment, and research reputation.

The greatest challenge for the Indian education sector is that unfortunately, India struggles to attract international students and faculty. This is due to the fact that India has been set in such a way structurally that internationalization has not been a priority for a long time.

THE Impact Rankings

Impact Rankings of THE is the pioneering alternative system of evaluation that helps in measuring the social and economic impact of the universities that have been attracting Indian institutes. The Impact Rankings are not based on global metrics that are traditionally used in evaluating universities such as research excellence, prestige, and wealth.

All that The Impact Rankings evaluate is the amount of difference that the universities make on the ground, in their supporting society and their community. The Rankings also measure the contribution of the university to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals which range from providing food security, tackling poverty, promoting good health, addressing inequality, clean water and sanitation, and the climate crisis. An alternative view of excellence is provided through this and this is where India is a stand-out performer. Nearly 64 Universities from India are featured in the ranking.

The decision of the University Grants Commission is an important initiative to invite foreign universities. Harvard, Stanford, Oxford, or Cambridge Universities are not likely to swoop in overnight. However, various reasons can be presented to set up campuses in India for some good international universities. The top 500 universities can be mapped through THE from across the globe. This might be really good for India as well.’

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