Indian schools fall off Top 200 list

Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on November 12, 2007

A new survey is out that is bound to add to the angst that some Indians feel about China. A British ranking of the world’s top 200 universities is now out – and there are no Indian schools on the list. Meanwhile, there are six universities from China, ten if you include the four Hong Kong schools that made the list in addition to the ones from the PRC.

School rankings, of course, are always a bit dodgy. This one, done by the Times of London with Quacquarelli Symonds, is no different. For instance, the University of Hong Kong comes in at No. 18, one place ahead of Stanford University. No offense to Hong Kong’s oldest university, but come on, how many people out there really buy the idea that Hong Kong U is a better school than Stanford?

Still, rankings are rankings and lots of people like them. So it’s not great for the image of India’s top schools that not one makes the list. According to this report in the Hindu, entitled “India falls off the league table of top universities,” this is the first time that no Indian university makes the top 200. The fact that so many Chinese schools are ranked, the Hindu writes, “reveal[s] a wide gap in higher educational standards between the two competing Asian giants.” The paper finds some consolation in the fact that two Indian schools - IIT Delhi and IIT Mumbai – make the top 50 tech rankings, “with the former at 37 and latter at 33.” Even so, adds the Hindu, that puts “both way behind China’s Tsinghua University, placed at 16.” This latest ranking will likely provide more ammunition to Indian critics of the country’s higher education system (for instance, see this post I did last year) who argue that the government needs to do more to encourage more students and professors to focus on science and technology in order to keep pace with the Chinese.

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Reader Comments

Dope test please!!!

November 13, 2007 12:12 PM

Seriously,

We have dope tests in sports, why not journalism. Times of London needs to stop smokin up and get real. Are they seriously conveying that IIM, IIT, IBS, etc are not among the best universities in the world?? Hong Kong U is better than Stanford??
Indian Universities are world class, and nobody in their right mind can doubt it. Number of research papers, and new findings do not equate to good teaching.
I suggest Times of London get better journalists, before they become a laughing stock of the educated world

Electrify

November 13, 2007 04:17 PM

There is enough historical evidence that British can not work around being a pure idiot when it comes down to ranking anything that is Indian :)

Sam Rainey

November 13, 2007 09:57 PM

I've been on the faculty at Hong Kong U and have been a graduate student at Stanford, both in the last ten years, and I can say categorically that there is more quality academic output from Stanford in a day than at HKU all year.

With the exception of HKUST, all of the Hong Kong universities are timid and derivative. Stanford is arguably the most important birthplace of genomics and modern computer science.

nickn

November 14, 2007 01:59 AM

I would be more surprised if any Indian school ever gets ranked among top 100. Any time someone brags about IIT or Indian education, you know for sure they are Indians. Indian students are always mediocre in any math, computer science or any academic fields that require top brainpower. Can anyone show me any Indian student from any Indian school who ever get a respectful award in International math Olympiad, International Informatics Olympiad, International College Programming Contest or at www.topcoder.com?

IC

November 14, 2007 12:23 PM

Keep attacking British Journal. Attacking messenger will not change reality. More attack, more desperate.

Mark

November 14, 2007 01:34 PM

Along the same line with Nickn, I'm seriously wondering where and how Indians get their confidence. When do Indians plan to have their first Olympic gold medal? Hopefully next year in Beijing. Don't just talk with the confidence, but prove it to the world.

nickn

November 14, 2007 10:44 PM

It is not the Times of London that needs dope test. It is the entire delusional Indian upper castes that need a dose of reality. These so-called elites are spreading around the net the Indian urban legends like the ridiculous predication that India will become a superpower in 2020 and IIT or IIM are world top schools etc. According Indian’s own report (http://www.merinews.com/catFull.jsp?articleID=127601), India is only 33% literate functionally and India is behind sub-Sahara countries in average income, health and nutrition condition. All these contribute to Indian loss of potential (http://www.vdare.com/rushton/070926_indians.htm).

According to India's largest educational non governmental organization (NGO) Pratham, in 2006, nearly 47 percent of children who were in school and studying in grade 5 could not read the story text at grade 2 level of difficulty. In arithmetic, 55 percent of grade 5 and 25 percent of grade 8 children could not solve a simple division problem (3 digits divided by 1 digit). The data is presented at http://i22.tinypic.com/2r4n0o4.jpg. The above figure is self-explanatory, but let’s highlights the findings. Look at the following groups of primary grade Indian students and their reading skills.

1. At Grade 2, only 8.3 percent read at grade level.
2. At Grade 3, only 19.9 percent read at grade level.
3. At Grade 4, only 37.6 percent read at grade level.
4. At Grade 5, only 53.0% of Indian students read at grade level
In other words, an average Indian student (defined as 50 percentile) is almost 3 years behind in reading by the second grade.
These are Indian’s own conclusion. So stop ranting around on the net lying that India has world top education.

puzzled

November 15, 2007 02:23 PM

Nickn:
Flash test

Task A: Identify grammatical errors in the following quoted sentences:

1. "India is only 33% literate functionally"
2. "but let’s highlights the findings"
3. "and IIT or IIM are world top schools"
4. "contribute to Indian loss of potential"

Task B: Identify logical error in the following quoted statement:

"an average Indian student (defined as 50 percentile) is almost 3 years behind in reading by the second grade."

I rest my case :)

nicknguyen

November 16, 2007 12:32 AM

It is so typical of Indians to take undeserved credits and to blame others for whatever failures. It is evil British Journalists who is to blame for Indian lousy school ranking; it is the bloody British to blame for Indian average IQ being 81; it is exploiting RAJ to blame for Indian desperate poverties; and it is greedy American for Indian scientific brain drain. Why do not you Indians take a serious look at yourselves and try to seek for an answer there?

Jammer

November 16, 2007 01:07 AM

Well all you have to do is see Indians never place well in international programming contests. Only one individual ever made the top 20 (16th) and by school... the highest Indian University only reached 63rd place. Indian programmers aren't the best. They're just the cheapest.

JoeJoe

November 26, 2007 10:51 PM

why indian wants to compete with chinese on everything? chinese want to compete with americans because america is the most advanced and powerful nation on earth by now. but china is not on the number 1 spot at this point, so why do you indians want to compete with chinese? I don't get it.

you should compete with americans.

RAKESH KRISHNAN

January 29, 2008 01:06 AM

It's true that Indian universities find it difficult to enter into top 100 list of universities & the main reason behind this is not because of lack of student quality, lack of faculty quality, or lack of the programme structure but because of improper funding by governments, lack of support by the alumini that act as deterence for them to push in to top 100.

If these two problems are resolved then surely many of the indian universities can come into top 100. The greatest example of the indian education system are the persons sitting in ISRO(INDIAN SPACE RESEARCH ORGANISATION)who don't have any foreign degrees, they are the products of some of the best indian universities.

After all history shows that india was once the most favoured educational hub. And i am sure in future the IIM'S, IIT'S, BITS etc are going to be world class. And to prove you the fact the INDIAN SCHOOL OF BUSINESS which was started at 2001 now is ranked 20th in the world by financial times.

dummy

May 7, 2008 02:17 PM

Forget the argument. Topics listed on most top ranked Universities active research in areas that I am familiar with appear to be complete bunk.
If they are not doing anything worthwhile but producing people who can write a long 200 page report, why do they need ranking?
"SALES, CHARGE MORE FEES" is the motto, No matter which country or which University.
Education is a business.

Dan

August 2, 2008 02:07 AM

Hi, Bruce: Why do you always compare India against China? For the near term, we in China is more interested in comparing agianst Japan. Japan has ten universities in this list, comparing to 6 in China, plus 4 in Hong Kong, plus 1 in Taiwan. Not too bad for pan-China vs Japan, but a lot of more work is needed in China, which should be able to beat Japan by itself.

Vishal

August 5, 2008 08:25 AM

It is true that the India Shining campaign has given the "aware" Indian a lot of reasons to be proud of. And that has got people to carry false notions about the country. Institutes in India seriously lack the infrastructure for high-level Research and the students join IIM and IITs for the sole purpose of earning good money (after placements) rather than boosting knowledge or inventing something that benefits mankind.
But I would also disagree with Nicknguyen. This person is too biased with his opinions. Even if India attain some feat, nothing will convince him. And MARK: Its sad that no one corrected you since November but India have already won 8 gold medals in Hockey alone! We get our confidence by comparing our higher awareness to people like you!!

Sue

December 13, 2008 10:40 AM

OK. This is getting very personal and every one is jabbing at each other. Every country has it's personal struggle in attaining it's freedom. Then it has to build on it's resources and survive. Every citizen in each of these countires uses whatever is available for their growth and survival.World is getting smaller with technology and yet we are so far apart not just with differences but with our won prejudices.
Lets encourage one another and be a proud HUMAN first.
Thank You.

Shocking

October 16, 2009 06:24 PM

Just shocking. Yet these people fill up the engineering schools in the US. No wonder our country is going to the gutter.

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BusinessWeek’s team of Asia reporters brings you the latest insights on business, politics, technology and culture from some of the world’s biggest and fastest-growing economies. Eye on Asia’s bloggers include Asia regional editor Bruce Einhorn, Tokyo reporter Ian Rowley, Korea bureau chief Moon Ihlwan, Asia News Editor and China Bureau Chief. Dexter Roberts, and Hong Kong-based Asia correspondent Frederik Balfour.

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