The Cost of Higher Education in India


The cost of a college degree in India varies significantly. Government institutions cost much less than private institutions because it is highly subsidized by the government. India's government maintains laws that educational institutions accredited by the government can only operate under a not for profit status. The governments not for profit institutions for higher education are a way to increase accessibility and educational equality to all citizens of India. Admittance to a government college (or commonly referred to in the United States as a public institution) or university requires one to be a citizen of India.

The fees charged for attending college in a public institution is very minimal and is funded for the most part by states governments and the central government. In fact, students who are very poor are able to attend public institutions for free, pending they are accepted. Students attending public universities and colleges in India pay tuition fees of approximately $50 per year.

Private institutions are operated on a for profit business model. Private colleges and universities are typically not recognized by the Indian government, do not receive government funding and are not held to acceptable academic standards. In many cases, private institutions are more concerned with making fast money than providing a high standard of education and high quality academic programs.

Few private institutions admit students based on academic performance and ranking on standardized tests. For the most part, private institutions in India base their admission guidelines on how much a student is willing to pay to get into the college. Fees charged by private institutions can vary from $300 per year to more than the annual tuition of prominent American universities (approximately $25,000 to $40,000 annually). Private institutions are an alternative for students who are unable to attend state (public) universities and frequently offer admission to Non Resident Indian students over citizens of India.

Post secondary students in India frequently resort to study abroad programs due to a lack of accessibility to academic programs in both public and private institutions. An increasing number of Indian students are seeking study abroad opportunities in Australia to obtain certificates in the areas of cosmetology and food preparation. The United States continues to be the first choice for Indian students who want to study abroad. In India the United States is best known for programs in information technology, medicine, science, business administration and finance while Australia is popular for degree programs in the areas of accounting, technology, hotel management, tourism, aviation and applied sciences.

India's post secondary system has a heavy emphasis in science and technology. Many of India's technology institutes are world renowned for their high quality academic programs and high standards of education. India's Institutes of Technology provide technology programs to more than 4000 students annually and have achieved a high level of success due to the contributions of their alumni in both public and private institutions.

Research conducted on higher education in India estimates that only 5% of college graduates in India are employable. A 2009 survey completed by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the World Bank found a general dissatisfaction with the quality of engineering graduates who graduated from institutions of higher education in India. In this survey employers were mostly satisfied with the graduates' ability to communicate in English but found them to be highly unreliable. The survey found that the industry requires specific skill sets for different types of engineers which results in the need for systematic change in the teaching and learning process of Indian universities. Students must develop the skills necessary to formulate, analyze and solve real life problems using standard engineering techniques and have working knowledge of advanced computer skills and the ability to use modern tools and technologies.

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