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Perspectives on building technology businesses and AcceleratorIndia from Cartezia

Opportunities abound in Indian Higher Education, but key challenges remain

Friday, June 20, 2014

Driven by major economic, social and demographic changes the Indian higher education system is undergoing a major transformation and offers tremendous opportunities over the next decade.

Globally, India has one of the largest networks of higher education system, comprising around 700 universities and more than 35,000 colleges, with an annual enrolment of over 25 million students (including open and distance learning systems) that is expected to grow at 18% CAGR.

Some of the key opportunities available in the Indian higher education sector are:

  • Course content development, specialised training for both faculty and students and provision of career counselling and support services.
  • Digital learning technologies, products and services, offering online and blended learning content, instructional design and associated management and support systems.
  • Improving graduates’ employability through enterprise education and entrepreneurship, links with industry and widening the range of transferable skills, including English language and
  • Vocational skills development, an area where Indian higher education institutions are getting interested, given the emphasis on manufacturing and light-technical jobs.

However, to fully realise the opportunities available, the following key challenges have been identified as critical and need to be addressed: Demand and supply gap, Disconnect between curriculum and industry requirements, Low levels of quality in teaching and learning, Variations in access to educational opportunities and Limitations in research capacity and innovation.

International players in the Higher Education sector need to clearly establish how they can make a difference to the transformation underway in this sector in India and craft strategies and go to market plans, including identifying and working with the right local partners to capture the opportunities available.