Thursday, August 13, 2009

Rakesh Vohra on Indian higher education

Rakesh Vohra doesn't hesitate to call 'em as he sees 'em in his post on Signaling and Indian Higher Education.

"...India offers only three varieties of higher education.
First, low price and low quality for a select few. These are the IIT’s and the IIM’s. In India there is a quaint belief that these handful of institutions are `world class’. Apart from some isolated departments, this is not true. This assertion will generate a response. So, let me lay on the kindling. It is doubtful if many of the faculty at these institutions would find employment in any top 20 university in the states. Note the implicit assumption in this arrogant statement: quality of faculty research is positively correlated with the ability to produce men and women qualified to `hold dominion over palm and pine’. I’ll get back to this later.
Second, high price and low quality offered by private institutions; here one pays for infrastructure. If one must attend college, it might as well be pleasant. So, tennis courts, air-conditioned class rooms etc.
Third, low price and zero quality for the rest. These are the government run Universities bedeviled by student strikes and chronic faculty absenteeism."

1 comment:

Divya said...

Well, you have not put in the last paragraph of that post -
Last, what if quality of faculty research is unrelated to the ability to educate undergraduates? As pointed out to me by Mallesh Pai, “if we measure a university by the quality of graduates it can signal it’s producing, then the IIT’s and IIM’s achieve this in a significantly more cost-effective way than the Ivies.”

The faculty of the IITs and IIMs might not get a job in the top US universities, but their students invariably get admitted in top universities anywhere in the world, get placed in the best companies, and some of them even teach in these top universities ...