Indian private universities ‘will overtake others’

Amity chancellor claims traditional institutions are lagging behind on research investment

May 1, 2015

Private sector institutions in India will overtake more elite and traditional universities in world rankings “within a generation or two”, the chancellor of Amity University has predicted.

Atul Chauhan said traditional institutions in India are lagging behind in rankings due to a lack of investment in research and the private sector provides the solution to “getting the brains back into the country”.

“Two generations ago, all the best schools were provided by the public sector - now it has flipped around. I have a strong feeling the same will happen in higher education within a generation or two,” he told delegates at Times Higher Education’s Young Universities Summit in Dublin this week.

He said despite the fact India had hundreds of universities, they were not performing well in world rankings due to low research scores.

Just four Indian institutions are featured in the latest THE World University Rankings and all of these are outside of the top 250.

“At the moment India faces a huge brain drain. The most brilliant students are not going into research within the country. There is need for India to build world-class research universities,” he said.

“One of the things we noticed was faculty members weren’t using intellectual property rights. So we created a system for this and have now filed 591 patents in the past four years.”

He added that senior industry figures help interview prospective students at Amity so they establish relationships with companies from the start.

“At each interview there are two faculty members and one senior person from industry. We say: ‘You helped this student get into our university, so when they leave you have to recruit them’. As a result, most of our students have a job lined up before they graduate,” he said.

Amity is owned by the non-profit foundation of the AKC Group of Companies, which operates petrochemical, technology and pharmaceutical firms, among others.

It has provided higher education in India since 1995 (with university status since 2005) and has nine campuses in India, along with international campuses in London, Singapore, New York, California, Mauritius, Romania, Abu Dhabi, South Africa, China and Dubai.

ellie.bothwell@tesglobal.com

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