Almost 6 million more students were enrolled in India’s universities and colleges in 2010-11 than the previous year, a whopping 30 % increase year-on-year that points to a sharp increase in hunger for higher education.
Latest government statistics released today by human resource development minister Kapil Sibal show that compared to a 12.4% gross enrolment rate (GER) in 2008-09, the GER jumped to 15% in 2009-10. GER is a ratio of students enrolled in higher education to the number of citizens between 18 and 23.
The GER leapt even higher in 2010-11, reaching 18.8%, according to the provisional statistics collated under the HRD ministry’s first-ever All India Higher Education Survey. While 20.7 million students were enrolled in higher education in 2009-10, 26.6 million were in college or university the subsequent year. The final GER for 2010-11 is expected to be still higher, since about 200 colleges have not yet submitted their enrollment data for the year.
“This sharp rise in enrollment is a direct result of the fast growing demand for quality higher education,” Sibal said. “It’s a great sign, but also a challenge because we need to create the infrastructure to meet their aspirations.”
India has set a target to reach a 30% GER by 2020.