Not a single Indian university has featured in the Times Higher Education (THE)’s ranking of the top 100 universities in the world that are less than 50 years old.
Close to 800 universities submitted their entries, including 20 from India. The rankings are specifically for young universities, where traditionally European and Asian universities have dominated the top slots. The ‘top 100 under 50’ rankings, which was first published in 2012, has only had one Indian university — IIT Guwahati — at number 87 in the 2013 list.
According to experts, the poor quality of research publications and lack of good faculty are the main reasons for the bad performance by Indian universities. “The higher education system in India has had to cope with huge increase in student numbers, which puts pressure on resources and quality. Also, a large number of Indian universities do not meet our criteria, including the minimum number of research papers to be published each year,” said Phil Baty, rankings editor, THE.
SS Mantha, former chairman of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) said, “Be it established universities like IITs, Mumbai or Delhi universities, we rarely see academic or industrial collaboration in its true sense. Moreover, faculty of international repute plays a large role in rankings, an area where newer universities lag behind.”
While THE states lack of published research work is a factor in deciding ranks of Indian Universities, MS Annath, former director of IIT Madras differs.
“It is not the mere number of research papers that need to be a criteria but the kind of journals they are published in, the citations it has and its application in the industry. Interdisciplinary activities and collaborations are also crucial, “he said.
The top five universities in the 2014 list include Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Switzerland; Pohang University of Science and Technology and The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) from South Korea; Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University.
Country’s dismal show
IIT Guwahati was the only university that featured in the Times Higher Education’s (THE) ‘top 100 under 50’ rankings - at No. 87 in the 2013 list
Why we lag behind?
According to experts, the poor quality of research publications and lack of good faculty are the main reasons for the bad performance by Indian universities
Phil Baty, rankings editor, THE, said Indian universities are not given the freedom to be responsive or manage their own affairs efficiently
SS Mantha, former chairman of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), said lack of internationalisation in terms of students and faculty, along with poor industry linkages, has stalled the performances of Indian universities
To make the cut…
For the THE rankings, factors such as how much a university's research papers are being referenced by other academics, and income from industry and international collaborations are deciding factors
Failing to make a mark
Though Indian universities featured in another listing – the QS rankings - in April 2015, except for a few top IITs, others have performed dismally on other global parameters.
IIT Bombay and Delhi University featured in the list of top 100 technical institutions of the QS rankings but failed to make a mark in other subjects like medicines or law. According to research paper on pitfalls of Indian university rankings, only 3% of the universities have any sort of industrial collaboration.