The Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education of Indian has registered an increase from 24.5% in 2015-16 to 25.2% in 2016-17 according to latest All India Higher Education Survey (AIHES) released by HRD Ministry. The survey findings were based on responses of 795 universities, 34,193 colleges and 7,496 standalone institutions. There are total of 864 universities, 40,026 colleges and 11,669 standalone institutions in the country.
Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER): GER is a statistical measure for determining the number of students enrolled in undergraduate, postgraduate and research-level studies within the country and expressed as a percentage of the population. India is aiming to attain GER of 30% by 2020, but it is still far behind countries like China with GER of 43.39% and the US with 85.8%.
The proportion of students pursuing higher education in India hasn’t increased dramatically from 2015-16 to 2016-17. It was in a range of 23% to 25% since 2013-14. Tamil Nadu has highest GER in India at 46.9%.
Six states have registered GER higher than the national average (25.2%), with their share of students entering higher education is growing twice as fast as the overall rate. These states are Tamil Nadu (46.9%), Himachal Pradesh (36.7%), Kerala (34.2%), Andhra Pradesh (32.4%), Haryana (29%) and Punjab (28.6%).
However, eight states UP (24.9%), Madhya Pradesh (20%), Odisha (21%), Bihar (14.4%), Gujarat (20.2%), Rajasthan (20.5%), Mizoram (24.5%) and West Bengal (18.5%) had GER ratio far less than the national average. Bihar has the lowest GER with just 14.4% of its eligible population (in the age group of 18 to 23 years) pursuing higher education.
Gender Parity Index (GPI): India registered its best performance on the GPI in last seven years — 0.94 in 2016-17 from 0.86 in 2010-11. GPI is calculated as the quotient of the number of females by the number of males enrolled. GPI equal to 1 indicates 1, value less than 1 indicated disparity in favour of males. In Seven states — Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, J&K, Nagaland, Sikkim and Kerala — women in higher education have outnumbered men.
College density: States in south India have higher college density. It is defined as the number of colleges per lakh eligible population. The college density in top three states/UTs is Puducherry (49), Telangana (59) and Karnataka (53). Bihar (7 colleges/1lakh population), Jharkhand (8) and West Bengal (11) on the other hand, are at the bottom in terms college density.
Number of foreign students: There hasn’t been much improvement in the internationalisation of education in the country. There is a marginal improvement in the number of foreign students —47,575 in 2016-17 from 45,424 in 2015-16— with 31,779 men and 15,796 women. The highest share comes from the neighbouring countries of Nepal (23.6%), Afghanistan (9.3%) and Bhutan (4.8%).