India Rejects Global Rankings

India has never done well in any kind of international education comparison, but Indian universities have done especially badly in global university rankings. There are some plausible reasons for this. The country’s secondary school system appears very ineffective, higher education has been subject to stifling government regulation including restrictions on the admission of international students and the recruitment of international faculty. All of this has been compounded by the outflow of talented graduates from the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) to western research universities or international companies.

Very few Indian universities have reached the top 500 in any of the well-known rankings but in recent years resentment has focussed on the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. Recently several of the leading IITs announced that they would boycott the THE world rankings. Meanwhile, the Indian government has prepared a national ranking of universities, the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF).

The Indian government has complained about the lack of transparency in rankings, especially THE, and about the emphasis on “perception” or reputation surveys in the THE, QS and US News global rankings.

It seems that the Indian government is now thinking of completely opting out of the current global rankings and “internationalising” the NIRF. That presumably means creating a new world ranking using the same metrics as the current NIRF.

A repot in ThePrint quoted Anil Nassa, Secretary of the National Board of Accreditation, as saying, “we want to internationalise the NIRF because we have built an extremely credible system of ranking.”






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