Student-teacher ratio in higher education: India far behind Brazil and China, reveals MHRD report

Teacher Students Ratio

New Delhi July 15 : A report by the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has revealed that India is far behind many countries, including Brazil and China, when it comes to student-teacher ratio in the higher education sector.

According to the report, the student-teacher ratio in India is 24:1 which is lower than 19:1 in Brazil and China. When compared to other countries in the world, India’s student-teacher ratio has turned out to be the lowest – against Sweden’s 12:1, UK’s 16:1, Russia’s 10:1 and Canada’s  9:1.

Adverse effect on quality education

The MHRD report stated that the student-teacher ratio in India will not only overburden the small group of teachers, but will badly affect the quality of higher education.

“The low student-teacher ratio clearly shows the burden on a single teacher of teaching multiple students as well as the lack of time that each student gets. And not only this, in an institution of higher learning, a smaller number of overburdened teachers are also unable to pursue any research or encourage their students to do so,” the report stated.

Prime reasons for faculty shortage

The shortage of teachers in the higher education sector has increased over a period of time because of the increase in enrolment rate of students and low faculty recruitment in higher education institutes.

MHRD’s All India Survey on Higher Education report shows that the student enrolment in higher education institutes have increased from 32.3 million in 2013-14 to 36.6 million in 2017-18, and the number of faculty members have gone down from 13,67,535 to 12,84,755.

“India is falling short of teaching staff as 6,600 posts are lying vacant in central universities. In IITs and state universities, 35 per cent and 38 per cent vacancies need to be filled respectively,” the report added.

The report also stated that the faculty vacancies have adversely affected the quality of teaching and research in higher education institutes.

“As per the latest data, this shortfall in faculty can be bridged by recruiting large numbers of ad hoc or part-time faculty. However, the high number of ad hoc or part-time faculty perform poorly in terms of teaching quality in higher education institutes.”

Issuing guidelines, the University Grants Commission had in earlier in June, asked the government-run higher education institutions to fill up 3 lakh vacancies within six months. 

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