The global economy is struggling with recession and its impact is obvious everywhere. Even in India, which has been spared the brunt of the crisis that has only slowed the pace of its rapid economic growth of recent years, many companies have put hiring on hold, cut jobs, and slashed pay and bonuses as they attempt to ride out the rough times.
One sector that’s still booming amid all the gloom is education, driven by both established and newly proliferating institutions of learning that promise to help young Indians realize their aspirations and ambitions.
In this special issue of Mint, we bring you India’s Best Colleges, based on the experience of students present and past, and their teachers and recruiters. As in the past, our survey focuses partly on the job fitness and performance of graduates, which remain key concerns in a country where recruiters often complain that a candidate who’s educated isn’t necessarily employable.
Also See Top Professional Colleges
The survey also focuses on what recruiters are seeking and why, and how some colleges manage to attract the best and the brightest. Finally, the institutes that are working best appear to be those that actively engage students, from classroom theory and lab research to music festivals and school friendships.
Also See Faculty and Placement Details of Some Top Professional Colleges 2008-09 (PDF)
Methodology for ranking professional colleges
For engineering and medical colleges, a perceptual survey was conducted among the faculty of different engineering and medical colleges. The perceptual data was collected using a structured questionnaire which was given to faculty members and final-year students of various colleges. The respondents were asked to rate the institutes they were familiar with on a 10-point scale against different parameters. They were also asked to assign a weightage to each parameter. The parameters used for evaluating engineering colleges and medical schools are listed below. The weightage given to each parameter was derived by taking the average weightage that faculty gave to each parameter. In all, 1,013 faculty members and 1,207 final-year students from different colleges were interviewed. Similarly, for ranking medical colleges, 225 faculty members and 253 final-year students were interviewed. Not more than one faculty member from each department was interviewed. The rating that the faculty gave to its own institute was not considered. Institutes that were not evaluated by at least 20 faculty members and 20 students are not listed.
Intellectual capital: Competence of faculty, research output, publications in refereed journals, number of patents
Pedagogic systems and processes: The effectiveness of various systems and processes, such as the teaching-learning process, curriculum upgrade and admissions, etc.
Industry interface: Live projects taken by students, the number of research projects with industry undertaken by faculty
Placements: The number and type of companies visiting for campus interviews, maximum, median and minimum salary offered for Indian and overseas jobs, the number of students who went for higher education in reputed Indian and foreign institutes
Infrastructure and support systems: The campus area, the total number of computers, the number of books in a library, the number of faculty cabins to faculty strength ratio, the number of seminar halls, the number of engineering drawing halls, the number of workshops, the number of machines in workshops, the number of laboratories, the budget allocated for laboratories, residential facilities for students and faculty, facilities such as playgrounds, gym, etc., and the responsiveness of administration to student needs.
For ranking institutes in law, hotel management, healthcare management, fashion technology, mass communication and media, faculty members and professionals in the respective industries were contacted. They were given a structured questionnaire and asked to rate the institutes they were familiar with on a 10-point scale against four broad parameters—intellectual capital, pedagogic systems and processes, placements, infrastructure and support systems. They were also asked to give weightage to each parameter in terms of relative importance. In order to eliminate bias, the rating that the respondents gave to the institutes that they were working in or had graduated from was not considered. The average rating that each institute got against different parameters was calculated. The average rating score was multiplied by the corresponding aggregate weightage. The sum total of the weighted averages was used to arrive at a score for an institute and was ranked accordingly.
Research organization C-fore conducted the survey for ranking professional colleges in India.