State-focused roadmap to India’s “Vision 2030”

Date: 13 May 2016

By 2030, India will be among the youngest nations in the world, with nearly 150 million people in the college-going age group. Higher Education in India: Vision 2030 tries to articulate an ambitious vision for higher education (HE) reform and lays out a roadmap for achieving this. However, the scale and complexity of the individual states calls for a state-specific approach to achieving this vision. All states need to adopt a transformative and innovative approach across all levels of higher education: from curricula and pedagogy to the use of technology to partnerships, governance and funding, to become globally relevant and competitive.

The 29 states and 7 union territories in India are at very different starting points in terms of the maturity of their HE systems. The 2015 EY-FICCI report, State-focused roadmap to India’s Vision 2030, takes an initial step in creating a broad roadmap for the states to develop their HE system:

  • It articulates an objective framework, the EY-FICCI Higher Education Index, highlighting opportunities and challenges of HE delivery at the state level. This index can help various stakeholders in the state higher education system to benchmark against their peers, identify improvements areas, replicate best practices and monitor progress consistently.
  • It gives core action points and a 300-day action plan for all states to work towards improving their HE system to achieve Vision 2030 goals in HE.

The states are benchmarked on various parameters and placed into four groups based on their performance across access and equity in education, and relevance and quality, governance and funding, and excellence.

  • Sustain Leadership group has above-average performance on both dimensions.
  • Deepen Impact has high performance on quality, low on access and equity.
  • Invest in Quality scores well on access and equity, but is low on quality.
  • Restructure has below-average performance on both metrics.

Based on where the states are placed in the four quadrants, the report outlines a three-step recommendation roadmap for their HE development:

  • Core action points common for all four groups: The starting point for the journey towards the vision may be different, but the basic tenets of core transformation agenda remain similar. States could develop a meta-university (choice of multi-discipline courses from various colleges) with partner states, setup and strengthen State Higher Education Councils (SHECs), foster competition and collaboration for research among institutes.
  • Interventions specific for the four groups, including long-term recommendations and a 300-day action plan:The states could use the 300-day action plan as a starting point and then look at group-level recommendations. They may consider to launch initiatives for top 4-5 professional HEIs to reach global standards, invest in CoEs, incubators, research networks and IP development, promote institutional alliances, catalyse the State Private University Act to drive private investment, provide graded strategic and operational autonomy to affiliated colleges, offer targeted scholarships for under-served communities.
  • State-level recommendations: The socio-economic considerations are likely to guide local actions in addition to the core and group roadmaps. The state action plan may focus on budgetary constraints, unique demographic and geographic constraints, and the maturity level of the higher education system. 

In this report, EY has looked at some world-class higher education systems as well as some systems within the country that could hold important guiding references for the state governments on taking appropriate measures to improve HE quality.

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