Higher education systems are expanding rapidly around the globe to satisfy the greater need and demand for access to education. Increased access to higher education enhances individual opportunity as well as national economic development and competitiveness in a globalised world. As a result, there is unprecedented growth in the number of students attending colleges and universities, and a rise in the number of public and private institutions around the world. In this changing context, quality and accountability have received increasing attention from policymakers and educationists internationally. In many developing countries, rankings, ratings and national assessment and accreditation systems have significant impacts, especially on the governance and internal management of higher educational institutions, and relationships between institutions and government, and between institutions and its stakeholders.
India has witnessed a new paradigm shift in its culture of education with the first National Education Policy (NEP) of the 21st century released in 2020 after 34 years. With an unprecedented allocation of 6 per cent of the GDP towards education, this new policy document launched by the government of India is aimed at paving the way for transformational reforms in school and higher education systems, to make India a global knowledge superpower.
Path Towards Excellence
It is evident that the majority of Indian institutions have remained almost constant in the position attained in the World University Rankings every year in the last decade. This situation is because of better performance from the Asian countries of China, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore, which are offering a better quality of education, research and focus on internationalisation. It is a well-known fact that the idea of internationalisation of higher education is based on the mobility of students, faculty members, programmes and institutions across countries. In India, however, this has been a one-way path. Every year more than 500,000 students have been going abroad, while only around 40,000 international students, mostly from South Asian countries, have been enrolling in Indian Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in the past three years; likewise, less 0.3 per cent of faculty are international. This trend exists mainly due to better quality education and research offered at international universities than at Indian HEIs. The NEP addressed these challenges and provided the path for Indian HEIs to become world-class institutions.
In the last decade, concrete efforts from government and private agencies to strengthen rankings and ratings have encouraged institutions to achieve world-class status. The parameters for international and national accreditation (NAAC, NBA, EMFD, AMBA etc), rankings (QS, THE, ARWU, NIRF etc) and ratings (QS STARS, ICARE, KSURF, GSIRF etc) have focused on innovative course curriculum, quality teaching-learning methods employed, faculty quality, student outcomes and responsibilities, diversity and accessibility, research and innovation, academic development and good governance practices. These assessment processes have helped institutions promote a healthy faculty-student ratio, capacity building and continuous professional development of faculty members, and increased international exposure through student and faculty exchange programmes.
Outlook-ICARE India’s Best Colleges
Choosing a college or university to attend is a major life decision, but it’s not one that you have to make alone. The Outlook-ICARE India’s Best Colleges Rankings 2021 can take some of the stress out of the research and selection process, and help students find a college that’s a good fit.
Our rankings use multiple measures to capture the various dimensions of academic quality at each college. They fall into five broad areas: Academic and Research Excellence, Industry Interface & Placements, Infrastructure & Facilities, Governance & Admissions and Diversity & Outreach. These five broad parameters are then broken down into a number of sub-parameters/indicators, each leading to a broad weightage and all totalling to a score of 1000. The indicators have been carefully selected to include both input measures, which reflect the quality of students, faculty and other resources used in education, and outcome measures, which capture the results of the education an individual receives. Normalised scores for each measure are weighted to arrive at a final overall score.
With over 900+ universities, 45000+ colleges and 6000+ business schools, deciding where to apply for a particular course in India is tough. But the Outlook-ICARE Best Colleges 2021, well recognised as India’s pre-eminent listing of academic institutions, can help. Our latest edition assesses 1000+ degree-granting institutions on 50+ measures of academic quality. The comparisons are useful for crafting a shortlist of institutions to examine more closely and may also highlight new options.
How the Ranking Methodology Works
Although the methodology is the product of years of research, we continuously refine our approach based on user feedback, discussions with academic leaders and higher education experts, literature reviews, trends in our own data, availability of new data, and engaging with deans and institutional researchers at higher education conferences, representatives from governments etc. Our detailed methodology is transparent in part for use by colleges and academics, but mostly because we believe prospective students will find our rankings more useful if they know what the rankings measure.
Only thoroughly vetted academic data from our surveys and reliable third-party sources are used to calculate each ranking metric. This means, for the better, we do not factor non-academic elements; we do not conduct unscientific and subjective reputation/perception surveys for use in our computations; and college ranks are not manipulated to suit business relationships.
The data used in these rankings pertain to academic years 2015-2020. Consequently, the Covid-19 pandemic could not impact the data schools submitted to us. Nonetheless, to account for the huge disruption to higher education, we allowed institutions to submit data in a variety of formats, going beyond the format we had designed to ensure wider participation and ease of data submission.
We divided colleges into two broad categories—government and private—based on their ownership structure. Within each category, the sum of weighted, normalised values across five parameters of academic quality determine each institute’s overall score and, by extension, its overall rank.
Most colleges submitted the data directly to us. In some cases, we had to rely on trusted sources of data such as AISHE, NIRF etc. We use the most current information available through trusted third-party data sources for the rankings. For quality assurance, rankings data that institutions submitted were algorithmically compared with previous years’ submissions to flag large-change statistical outliers. Respondents were required to review, possibly revise and verify any flagged data. For the second year in a row, they were also instructed to have a top academic official from their management sign off on the accuracy of the data.
Outlook-ICARE Rankings 2021: India's Top 30 Government Engineering Colleges
Outlook-ICARE Rankings 2021: India's Top 100 Private Engineering Colleges
Top Private Engineering Institutes (In Alphabetical Order)
Outlook-ICARE Rankings 2021: India's Top 13 Government Medical Institutes
Outlook-ICARE Rankings 2021: India's Top 23 Private Medical Institutes
Outlook-ICARE Rankings 2021: India's Top 8 Government Dental Institutes
Outlook-ICARE Rankings 2021: India's Top 24 Private Dental Institutes
Outlook-ICARE Rankings 2021: India's Top 10 Government Hotel Management Institutes
Outlook-ICARE Rankings 2021: India's Top 30 Private Hotel Management Institutes
Outlook-ICARE Rankings 2021: India's Top 7 Government Institutes Of Architecture
Outlook-ICARE Rankings 2021: India's Top 25 Private Institutes Of Architecture
Outlook-ICARE Rankings 2021: India's Top 35 Institutes Of Social Work
Outlook-ICARE Rankings 2021: India's Top 13 Government Institutes Of Fashion Design
Outlook-ICARE Rankings 2021: India's Top 25 Private Institutes Of Fashion Design
Outlook-ICARE Rankings 2021: India's Top 5 Government Institutes Of Mass Communication
Outlook-ICARE Rankings 2021: India's Top 31 Private Institutes Of Mass Communication
Outlook-ICARE Rankings 2021: India's Top 13 Government Law Institutes
Outlook-ICARE Rankings 2021: India's Top 33 Private Law Institutes
Outlook-ICARE Rankings 2021: India's Top 105 Institutes Of Science
Outlook-ICARE Rankings 2021: India's Top 120 Institutes Of Arts
Outlook-ICARE Rankings 2021: India's Top 125 BBA Institutes
Outlook-ICARE Rankings 2021: India's Top 110 BCA Institutes
Outlook-ICARE Rankings 2021: India's Top 150 Commerce Institutes
Dr Karthick Sridhar Vice Chairman, ICARE