Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Scope for greater private role in higher education: E&Y

There is scope for greater private sector participation in higher education, says a recent Ernst & Young report.
The report, brought out in collaboration with industry chamber, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, presents a case for loosening regulatory framework.
Private educational institutions have been mushrooming in the past few years. The percentage of students enrolled in unaided private institutions has also been growing, according to the report.
Education is a lucrative business currently as India figures at the top of the most-sought after markets in the world with a population of 234 million in the 15 to 24 years age group, says the report.
With the implementation of the Right to Education Act, a surge in enrolment at the primary and middle levels is expected, which would create a huge eligible pool for enrolment in higher education in the long term, it says.
State governments are focussed on capacity creation and a bulk of the expenditure is unplanned, directed toward maintenance and administration of existing institutions, claims the report.
The Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) of India is rising but is not as yet on par with international GERs. The Government has set a target of achieving 30 per cent GER by 2020, which means about 40 million students enrolments. At present, there are 14.6 million students in higher education sector. The private sector wants to target this additional capacity of 25 million seats over the next decade.
E&Y estimates an investment of Rs 1 million crore, an average of Rs 0.4 million per seat. Of this, the private sector would be required to contribute Rs 50,000 crore (assuming that private sector accounts for 52 per cent of total enrolment).
The report lists the corporate and academic collaborations private players must make and the marketing and brand building initiatives required to keep the business of education going good.

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