Higher education witnesses rise of 11.4% in student enrolment: AISHE 2019-20 report

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NEW DELHI: As the gross enrolment ratio (GER) in higher education in India crossed the 27% mark, GER for females (27.3) for the second consecutive year recorded a higher percentage compared to males 26.6). In the last five years, female enrolment recorded an 18.2% increase, as overall enrolment in higher education grew by 11.4% in the same period. The number of universities has increased by 30.5% during the period of 2015-16 to 2019-20 and the number of colleges has also increased by about 8.4% in the same period. Uttar Pradesh, with its highest student enrolment in India, has 49.1% male and 50.9% female students.

According to the All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) 2019-20 report released on Thursday, there has been a significant shift in the choice of the discipline of study, as in the last five years engineering and technology registered a negative growth (-13.4), while medical science enrolment has been up by 51.1% in the same period.

The enrolment in higher education stands at 3.85 crores in 2019-20 as compared to 3.74 crores in 2018-19, registering a growth of 11.36 lakh (3.04 %). Total enrolment was 3.42 crore in 2014-15. (GER) of students belonging to the eligible age group enrolled in higher education in 2019-20 is 27.1% against 26.3% in 2018-19 and 24.3% in 2014-2015. Gender too indicates an improvement in the relative access to higher education for females of the eligible age group compared to males with 1.01 in 2019-20 as against 1.00 in 2018-19.

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Union education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal noted that the continuous focus is given by the government on the education of girls, women empowerment, and empowerment of socially backward classes are well reflected by the increased participation of women, SCs, and STs population in higher education as shown by the report. Announcing the release of the report, Pokhriyal tweeted, “The Gross Enrolment Ratio or the percentage of students belonging to the eligible age group enrolled in higher education is 27.1% in 2019-20, which has seen a rise from 26.3% in 2018-19 and 24.3% in 2014-2015,” and “We have noted a tremendous growth of educational institutes in the country. The number of universities has increased by 30.5% from 799 in 2015-16 to 1043 in 2019-20. The number of colleges has increased by about 8.4% from 39,071 in 2015-16 to 42,343 in 2019-20.”

Discipline-wise while enrolment in arts/ humanities/ social science has registered 0.4% growth in the last five years, science (13.5%) and commerce (8.5%) on the other hand have found more takers. Enrolment in IT and computer courses too registered a growth of 4.2% in the last five years.

Amit Khare, secretary, higher education said that the highlight of the 10th AISHE report is the improvement of access, equity, and quality in light of National Education Policy 2020 as the survey revealed a continuous rise in the enrolment, number of institutions, gender parity is in education.

As per the report, out of the total enrolment of 3,85,36,359 students, a vast majority of 3.06 crore students are enrolled in undergraduate which is approximately 79.5% of the total enrolment, followed by 11.2% students enrolled in post-graduation. Maharashtra tops in the enrolment of students in universities (including constituent units) with 9,67,034, followed by Tamil Nadu with 9,26,490 students, and Delhi with 8,16,110 students.

Of the 42,343 colleges, 60.56% are located in rural areas and 10.75% of Colleges are exclusively for girls. And the majority of the colleges (78.6%) in the country, are privately managed, led by Andhra Pradesh (81%), Telangana (80%), Uttar Pradesh (78.5%), and Tamil Nadu (77.6%). Also, 65.5% of the colleges enrol less than 500 students, while just 4% of the colleges have an enrolment of more than 3,000 students.

A total of 1,019 universities, 39,955 colleges, and 9,599 stand-alone institutions participated in the survey, which provides key performance indicators on the current status of higher education in the country.

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