Managing the Growth of Private Universities in India Challenges and Opportunities | Original Article
Central and state government universities in India have been quite inadequate in numbers against the educational needs of the large population and so the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) of higher education also remained much lesser than required. In order to cope up with the situation, government decided to allow opening of private universities and achieve 30% GER by 2020, with the result a number of private universities opened in last two decades and now the GER has gone up to about 28% as compared to about 18% in 2000 and Private Universities constitute 40% of the total number of universities in India and their number still continues to increase. Positive growth of private universities is, therefore, now an important issue for India if it has to achieve bigger targets of quality and quantity in higher education. Development of a private university is not only in the hands of the Management of that university but depends on many other stake holders like Regulatory Bodies, State & Central Government, Students Industries and Society by and large, who are also responsible. However the initiative always lies with the management of the University. If all stake holders also contribute positively then private universities can perform even better than their government counterparts as, in the case of private universities, decision taking and implementation mechanism could be a little faster due to inherent nature of a private set up. Appointment of right kind of human resources i.e. Vice-Chancellor, Registrar, Dean academic, Teaching Staff etc is a key issue which provides a base or foundation for quality teaching learning. Growth is further dependent on faculty development, facilities, infrastructure like library, ICT structure, labs and other facilities, academic and research culture, environment and motivation available. Branding gets a boost also by the kind of innovation Ecosystem University has, entrepreneurial development it provides, skills and employability it generates and image of the University created among alumni, students and staff. HRD Ministry has drawn 5 years Vision Plan on Quality Education (EQUIP) which focuses on 10 areas and an environment of transforming higher education for new India is building in which private universities are expected to play a key role. However, there are lots of challenges for a private university, if it has to contribute significantly in improving educational landscape. This paper gives some salient aspects of these challenges and how can private universities turn them into opportunities.