Do we need private universities in India? if yes for what?

Prior to 2000, India has single digit number of private universities. Some of them were University of Roorkee, The Birla Institute of Technology and Science at Pilani which maintained high level of standards. You also had Annamalai university and Manipal Academy of Higher Education addressing local needs of education.

How can we bridge the gap between increasing demand and decreasing government funding for higher education? the answer seems to be tap the private sector to participate in the funding and provision of higher education. Some of the states have passed legislation acts to permit private universities. Do these institutions have  infrastructure, or a campus, or the funds to provide quality higher education? Is the student who enrolled in the private university take a ride on the students? Do the legislation are good to come with proper regulation and standards to be maintained by these universities?

Ia government calling that education has reach stage where we need to call explicitly that education is business. I rarely find new initiatives in education space that have a social  purpose. Lot of people seem to project social purpose and have profit as hidden agenda. In addition there is a lot of private universities that are going to arrive.

Here are some of the marketing points put forth by the private universities and my perspectives towards that

  • Students getting 95% marks do not get in to the dream colleges and thinks that life is ruined even after he has achieved. I am not sure what we do to educate students to learn that marks are not the barometer of success from very earlier age. if this has been done earlier, they would be prepared to take the decisions. No one helps them to understand the passion.  No one is ready to make them realize whether dreams belong to them or implanted in them
  • Students get rejected on reservation basis and feel that life is ruined. Parents including me do not follow old caste system at home. Today we live as part of multi cultural society and we want to grow our children without exposing them to social differences and violence that is happening around. The children are not prepared to face this fact on reaching the college and feel let down when the neighbor child  who has scored same marks and might be economically better gets the college admission and the child is denied as the child is part of  Forward caste.

Let see how much are the private universities prepared.

  • There is dearth of availability of trained faculty. I only see Azim Premji university has come with courses in the areas of development and education. I see a lot of technology ideas where people would like to remove the teacher from the system.
  • How many are looking to bridge gap between demand and supply of quality education? This question is answered differently by different people. Every one talks of global quality benchmarks. If they are educated and achieved and have genuine interest to learn, why do they need help of foreign branding to market them. Who defines the benchmarks? I see there is need of loads of educated people who will not ask questions and do the job for the money paid and perform  support or mundane work and lose long term advantage.