Navigating the Labyrinth: Perspectives on India’s Higher Education

Edited by Devesh Kapur and Pratap Bhanu Mehta
Orient BlackSwan
2017

In India, few things open faster than colleges, but few sectors reform more slowly than higher education. Demographic changes, economic growth and integration into the global economy, the rising demand for higher education, and the increase in the number of private colleges have led to a massive expansion in Indian higher education. While challenges of access and cost have been long-standing, much of this expansion has been of dubious quality, the result of sustained and deep regulatory and governance failures.

This book analyses these and other complex challenges facing higher education in India, and suggests possible solutions to some of them. The contributors highlight a range of issues facing higher education today, through a deeply moving account of the decline of a college in north Bihar; discussions on the various types of post-secondary educational institutions—the research university, teaching colleges, and vocational training institutes; initiatives, such as community colleges, to address the problem of skill development in India; and the financing and governance of higher education in India. 

The book combines diverse methodologies: ethnography of institutions, case studies and data-based work, to present a complex landscape.

These critical insights into higher education in India will be useful to scholars and researchers in education, political science, sociology, and public policy.