The curious case of India’s fragile higher education system6 min read 13 Jul 2015, 12:20 AM IST
Without scale, there cannot be scope, and without scope, there cannot be quality education
Indian institutions of higher education function at a sub-optimal scale compared with some of the best in the world. Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, my alma mater, is one of the larger IITs in India. It nevertheless has only about 8,000 students, while the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has over 11,000 students and is part of the larger Boston educational area with more than a quarter of a million students. Oxford, Cambridge and Harvard all have around 20,000 students each. Some of the publicly-funded universities in the US such as Michigan and Pittsburgh have over 35,000 students. The University of California system has 250,000 students, with each of its campuses having 20,000 students. In comparison, IIT Bombay has not grown much over the years; in 1978, when I had joined, it had about 3,500 students.