Private participation in higher education in India

Issues and implications on access, equity and quality

Authored by: Furqan Qamar

The Routledge Handbook of Education in India

Print publication date:  September  2021
Online publication date:  September  2021

Print ISBN: 9780367466770
eBook ISBN: 9781003030362
Adobe ISBN:


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Private participation in higher education in India, though inherited from its colonial past, has continued to exist, albeit with a metamorphosis. The phenomenon has undergone tremendous changes in forms, structure, extent and impact on access, equity, and quality in higher education. Limitations and drawbacks of the private sector in higher education notwithstanding, the sector has continued to grow in size and significance. The rise in the private participation in higher education has also been concurrent with the plunge in the relative significance, quality, and impact of the public system due to plummeting public investment. This chapter seeks to present an account of India's experience with the private higher education since Independence but particularly focuses on the new generation private participation that has gained ground since the eighties. Private participation in higher education has become so integral to the higher education landscape that it is most likely to remain the mainstay in the future. Given the failure of the regulatory mechanism to prevent malpractices, ensure quality, and promote excellence, the chapter is a search for workable policy imperatives.

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