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63 percent of Indian students not satisfied with existing university curriculum

13 / 02 / 2018 (Tuesday) || 07:57 AM
A recent study conducted by the UK based Bournemouth University on the conditions prevailing in the Indian higher education framework points out that 67 percent of Indian university students are discontent with the existing curriculum and academic structure at their universities. Moreover, 59 percent of the surveyed students denied having any access to employability and careers services at their institution. The students argued that despite knowing that higher education is a key element in equipping them with high-level skills and attributes, there wasn’t much they could do about the negligible exposure to practice-based education in their existing curriculum.

The ‘Global Talent in India - Challenges and Opportunities for Skills Development in Higher Education’ report was written by researchers at Bournemouth University in collaboration with a range of Indian stakeholders including IITs, IIMs, the University of Madras and Delhi University. Employer organisations that participated in the survey included Alibaba India, CNN India, Google, Accor and a range of entrepreneurs. Also, a range of influential policy-makers, most notably the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE), the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), Sector Skills Councils and the Department for Education in Delhi and Madras took part in the study.

The study looked at the Indian higher education framework from the perspectives of the five major educational stakeholder groups – higher education leadership, students, employers, policy-makers and NGOs. Academic staff and higher education leaders pointed to the current gap between the university curriculum and contemporary developments in the world of work; with 65 percent of them feeling that students in India are unable to apply graduate-level skills and competencies in their scope of work. 96 percent of the academic staff respondents felt that there is significant value in establishing international collaborations and partnerships. Employers and industry representatives indicated the lack of preparedness of Indian graduates for the world of work, with 67 percent of them feeling that majority of fresh graduates are unable to demonstrate the higher-level skills that they are looking for in their industry.

Comments Dr. Sonal Minocha, pro vice-chancellor (Global Engagement) of Bournemouth University and the lead author of the report, “Over the last three years, we have been working with a range of stakeholders from industry, academia and government to develop insight and understanding of the challenges faced in developing future ready talent, which is needed for an increasingly global world of work. Rapidly growing economies with a large youth population such as India face a set of unique challenges in attaining their potential. We found a very clear higher-level skills gap in India, which is estimated to cost the Indian economy as much as $8.61 billion in lost productivity (PwC, 2014). Our report offers preliminary findings for consideration by educators, employers and policymakers in tackling India’s graduate-level skills development challenge. Findings from our report sought to improve our understanding of the role of Indian higher education in narrowing this gap and provide some ideas for improving the productivity of its workforce through higher education.”

Policy makers suggested that a move towards firmly embedding disciplines such as entrepreneurship, innovation and quality research, have the potential to scale up and support the government’s efforts in skilling India. Yet, only 30 percent agreed that Indian universities have the required framework to provide students with new and industry-relevant knowledge. NGO representatives highlighted the current progress of Indian higher education sector in preparing students and graduates for the Indian workforce; 45 percent of the sampled NGOs suggested that majority of higher education standards in India fail to prepare students for the global workplace. The authors of the report, Dr. Minocha, Dr. Dean Hristov and Dr. Chindu Sreedharan, scanned higher education facilities in New Delhi, Pune and Chennai, interviewing and sampling the major stakeholders in the higher education system to compile the final document.The report was released on February 12 during the Festival of Learning-India 2018 in Chennai. The festival is a part of the Global Festival of Learning that will be held in three cities of India – Chennai, Pune and New Delhi - before setting-off to China, Hong Kong, along with ASEAN & European countries. The flagship international festival of Bournemouth University, the Global Festival of Learning is a celebration of knowledge, culture and intellect wherein a wide range of issues related to education and career, along with their future in a globalised world will be discussed and presented to a wide global audience.

The complete ‘Global Talent in India – Challenges and Opportunities for Skills Development in Higher’ report can be accessed at:

The UK based Bournemouth University is a world-renowned institution with a global reputation for its teaching, research, innovation and media excellence. It is based on the south coast of England, with an ethos of creating a unique fusion of education, research and professional practice.