Indian universities are aiming to play on the world stage and rankings provide a major platform for visibility and a global benchmark. “This is now a sort of advertising and marketing of the academic strengths to enhance research partnerships, dual degrees and exchange programmes,” adds Baty. The carefully calibrated metrics are indicators tracking and rewarding the flow of international academic and student talent, measures championing internationally collaborative research and celebrating industry-university partnership, adds Baty. “The world rankings will continue to develop into a vital tool to support India’s ambitious programme of development and internationalisation through the NEP2020.”
In the past five years between 2018 to 2023, India’s scores have changed on different performance indicators. India is improving in a vast majority of areas, including Field-weighted Citation Impact (FWCI) which confirms that research influence is on the rise. India’s creation of doctorates and the next generation of researchers is outpacing the world, says Baty. THE reports based on a survey of 40,000 academics reveal rising staff-student ratios, and the ability to attract funding from industries is improving, which has enhanced research productivity. The metric changes between 2022-2023 show India has improved on FWCI, international sponsorship, publications and more. However, there has been a drop in industry income, research reputation and international staff recruitment.
The challenge for the Indian education sector is the classic new problem. “India, unfortunately, struggles to attract international students and international faculty. This is because structurally, India has been set in a way that internationalisation has not been a priority,” adds Baty.
THE Impact Rankings, which is the pioneering alternative system of evaluation to measure universities’ social and economic impact has been attracting Indian institutes. The Impact Rankings are not based on traditional global metrics like prestige, research excellence, and wealth. The Impact Rankings evaluate how much universities make a difference on the ground, in their communities, supporting society. “They capture universities’ contribution to United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, from helping to provide food security, tackle poverty, to promoting good health, clean water and sanitation, to addressing inequality and the climate crisis, says Baty. “This is an alternative view of excellence where India is a stand-out performer. As many as 64 Indian universities are featured in the ranking,” says Baty.
UGC’s decision to invite foreign universities, says Baty, is an important initiative. “It is unlikely that Harvard, Stanford, Oxford or Cambridge will swoop in overnight. But there are clear reasons for some good international universities to set up campuses in India. THE can help in mapping the top 500 universities from across the globe which might be good for India,” says Baty.