In yet another shameful exhibition of the state of higher education in India, a recent statistic has revealed figures that have hung our heads in shame. Global rankings floated statistics regarding the state of affairs in global higher education where India’s institutes have once again failed to make a mark by failing to make it to the merit list of institutes around the globe.
The Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) statistics for 2013 have revealed such demeaning statistic. The global survey has enlisted Indian Institute of Science (IISc) which is headquartered at Bangalore to be the only Indian institute which is worth enough to fit in their list of top 500 global institutes. Nevertheless, the situation has been the same throughout the past many years and this year too it hasn’t thrown up any surprises at all.
Though IISc made it to the elite list of institutes but sadly enough it could only feature in the 300-400 rankings bracket which means that it too lags way behind while talking about global standards. The most fortunate part of the story lies in the fact that though it featured lowly in the list, at least it could muster up the required qualities to make it to the elite numbers which saved some face for the academic fraternity.
Just as usual the American universities topped the critically acclaimed list of institutes with élan as they captured as many as 17 of the top 20 spots. The remaining spots went to two British institutes and a Swiss institute hailing from Zurich. In total American institutes accounted for 182 slots out of the entire 500 while European institutes could muster almost 200 spots in total.
Egoistically disheartening for India has been the fact that it’s neighbour China could afford to boast of 17 institutes that are included in the said top 500 rankings while India has only a single entrant. This has even further ashamed the nation as arguments are rising over the ever increasing gap in education between India and the other nations.
Harvard University emerged to be the world’s best university while Stanford University came in second. The third, fourth and fifth spots were taken up by University of California, Berkeley; Massachusetts Institute of Technology and University of Cambridge respectively.
IISc incidentally just held on somehow to its last years’ showing but showed improvements in departments like Chemistry and Computer Science. This year IISc has ranked 43rd in Chemistry which is two places higher than last year’s ranking while in Computer science it came in the 51-75 range jumping from last year’s 101-150 range.
ARWU is an internationally acclaimed rating system for higher education institutes which is also referred as Shanghai Rankings. It considers institutes that have produced Nobel laureates, highly cited researchers, field medallists or published papers in Science or Nature. In addition to these, other features like indexing of research papers in SCIE and SSCI are also taken into account while formulating the ratings. Many other indicators are also observed for which they are marked upon 100 in each field. A total of 1000 universities are rated out of which the top 500 names are published on the web.