Tuesday, September 16, 2014

India missing in top 200 global varsity in the new QS rankings

India still does not feature among the Top 200 world universities in the new QS rankings. Just like last year, the top-placed Indian institution is 222nd in the world, but this year the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B) has overtaken its counterpart in Delhi for the first time.

IIT-Delhi has been the leader in India throughout the first 10 editions of the QS rankings, but has slipped to 235th this year, virtually exchanging positions in the table with IIT-B. IIT-Bombay has moved up from 233rd to 222nd and IIT-Delhi from 222nd to 235th. While IIT-Bombay has done better in the 'Employer Survey' a component that accounts for 10 per cent weightage in the World Rankings, IIT-Delhi's performance has dropped. This could also be read as IIT-Bombay receiving a better score or more responses in the 'Employer Survey' than IIT-Delhi.

Also, IIT-Delhi's decline in the Citations Per Faculty Indicator, which accounts for 20 per cent weightage in the World Rankings, has been far greater than its peers. While in the regional rankings such as Asia and BRICS the emphasis is also on quantity of research papers published, the World Rankings only focuses on the quality of papers published by taking into account the citations, thereby making it more rigorous and globally competitive.

"It's time Indian universities embraced global rankings and put their best foot forward," says Dr Karthick Sridhar, Vice Chairman, Indian Centre for Assessment & Accreditation. With the increasing globalisation of higher education, Indian universities need to compete to attract the best intellectual students, as well as best qualified faculty from across the world, he says. Globally, students continue to use rankings as one of their decision making tools to choose their destinations. The prestige associated with higher ranks also drives universities to benchmark themselves globally, adds Dr Sridhar.

Parameters where Indian universities are weak in comparison to global peers are quantity and quality of research (as represented by number of papers and their citation counts); surveys of academic peers and employers (a representation of the perception of the quality of the university and 'outgoing' students); and internationalisation (as represented by number of international faculty and students). "These have to be addressed through reorientation of institutional priorities; focused deployment of human and financial resources; enhancement of global reputation and prestige through academic excellence and national higher education policy reforms," says Sridhar.

The number of Indian institutions in the World Rankings has grown to 12 from 11. "Indian institutions are engaging with ranking agencies more than ever before and this has started bearing fruit. There are more Indian universities in the QS rankings than any other international comparisons," a release said. The global rankings are, for the third year, led by MIT, which increased year-on-year citations per faculty by 14 per cent. Imperial College London (UK) also reported a 14 per cent increase in this metric compared to 11 per cent by the University of Cambridge (UK) and 2 per cent by Harvard. Caltech remains the world's top university for research citations.

A total of 31 countries are represented in the Top 200. The US remains the dominant nation with 51 institutions, 11 of which are in the Top 20. The US dominates also for research impact with seven of the 10 top spots in the citations per faculty indicator.

Source: The Economic Times, September 16, 2014
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