Chennai: Among states, Tamil Nadu has inched closer to achieve the landmark of 50 per cent Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) in higher education as the state recorded 48.6% enrollment in 2017-18 - an increase of 1.7% compared to the previous year. According to the All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) 2017-18 the results of which were released on Friday, the next best state is Himachal Pradesh with 37.9 per cent and closely followed by Sikkim with 37.4 per cent enrollment in higher education.
The country's GER has witnessed a slight increase from 25.2 per cent to 25.8 per cent, the survey revealed. Totally, 882 universities, 38,061 colleges and 9,090 stand-alone institutions have participated in the survey. In the last seven years, the GER of Tamil Nadu has increased from 32.9 per cent to 48.6 per cent.
The higher education institutions in Tamil Nadu have admitted 24.91 lakh students in under graduation and 4.38 lakh in post graduation. The admission in PhD also increased from 7995 in 2010-11 to 29,778 in 2016-17.
“Tamil Nadu will become universal higher education provider once it crosses 50 per cent GER and the state could be compared to with other countries,” P.Duraisamy, Vice-Chancellor, University of Madras. The state could achieve the 50 per cent GER in the coming year. But the state has to travel some distance to be compared with the developed countries.
“The state government is continuously opening new colleges and polytechnics in the last few years. So, Tamil Nadu is doing extremely well in terms of expansion. But, we need to improve the quality of higher education and employability of our graduates,” said E.Balagurusamy, former Vice-Chancellor, Anna University.
Of 3.66 crore students who have enrolled in higher education, 79.2% of them enrolled in the UG programme. 1,61,412 students are enrolled in PhD that is less than 0.5 per cent of the total student enrolment. Among them, only 41,844 students enrolled for PhDs in science stream.
“Most of the universities in India are doing very badly in research because the funding for research is very poor. We are only spending only 0.9 per cent to research which needs to be increased to 2 per cent. We have to improve the quality of faculty members in the universities so that they are able to do more research projects,” Mr Balagurusamy said. The universities could not get higher ranks among world universities due to low research output and the low number of patents registered. "We need to improve the research output and produce more patents. It will only bring innovation and more products to our country," he stated.
As per the survey, 46,144 foreign students from 166 countries have enrolled in our country in 2017-18. Countries including Nepal (24.9 per cent), Afghanistan (9.5 per cent), Sudan (4.8 per cent ) and Bhutan (4.8 per cent ) are sending a considerable number of students to India. Distance education constitutes about 11 per cent of the total enrollment in higher education of which 41.9 per cent are female students.
Among the 39,050 colleges, 60.5 per cent are located in rural area and only 3.6 per cent of colleges run PhD programme while 36.7 per cent colleges alone run PG programmes.