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Drawing upon decades of experience, RAND provides research services, systematic analysis, and innovative thinking to a global clientele that includes government agencies, foundations, and private-sector firms. India's higher education system is one of world's largest, enrolling nearly 22 million students in more than 46,000 institutions.
India's national government currently plays a "command and control" role in the higher education system. To help identify how such policies could support higher education quality improvement in India, RAND researchers reviewed documents and policies from countries that are similar in terms of size, governance structure, or higher education system quality.
Taking into account lessons from similar countries and the unique challenges facing education reform efforts in India, the research team developed a course of action to guide India's higher education system toward the "steer and evaluate" model proposed by the 12th Five-Year Plan. Develop, implement, and publicize a quantitative system to measure the quality of higher education institutions and establish policies for continuous quality improvement. Continue efforts to develop and implement a student financial aid system, and gradually tie eligibility to accreditation and quality measures. Develop a system to provide competitive grants to states, institutions, and academic departments to spur innovation and achieve specific national and state goals. Provide funding to states and institutions to build capacity for self-governance under the new "steer and evaluate" model. This research brief describes work done jointly by RAND's Center for Asia Pacific Policy and RAND Education and documented in Building the Links Between Funding and Quality in Higher Education: India's Challenge, by Lindsay Daugherty, Trey Miller, Rafiq Dossani, and Megan Clifford, RR-225-RC, 2013 (Full Document). The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit research institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. The RAND Corporation is a research organization that develops solutions to public policy challenges to help make communities throughout the world safer and more secure, healthier and more prosperous.
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Latinos are concerned about the same pocketbook issues that matter to most middle class Americans - creating good-paying jobs in this country, making sure our children get a quality education, and ensuring that our families have access to affordable and quality healthcare.
The colleges give the vocational skills to the students to prepare them for the future life. RAND researchers developed a course of action to help India implement policies and reforms that link education quality to funding in a way that will hold the country's newly autonomous institutions accountable for their performance, encourage greater innovation, and contribute to national goals. The system's rapid and recent expansion has increased concerns about declining quality, however.



Under government oversight, the largest state universities set the curricula, determine course offerings, administer exams, and grant degrees, while smaller affiliated colleges teach students according to these standards and requirements. The study revealed a connection between successful autonomous institutions and measures of quality that are closely aligned with national goals for higher education. In January 2013, India's University Grants Commission, the primary national regulator of higher education, made accreditation mandatory for the institutions it regulates. India should begin the process of developing and implementing a system to collect and report data on institutional quality that can be used to gauge their progress toward national goals.
Starting small and gradually phasing in more concrete links between funding and quality will be important to ensuring a successful transition for India's higher education system. In addition to providing access to education for students in need, student loan systems can play a valuable role in linking funding to quality by tying an institution's eligibility to receive student loan funds to quality standards. Peer-reviewed research grants have been introduced in India in response to the 12th Five-Year Plan's call to strengthen the nation's research capacity. Competitive grants provide opportunities to direct funding to specific goals and respond to changes over time or varying needs across regions. Some countries have developed explicit technical assistance programs to help institutions and states change their governance structures. Instituting policies that explicitly link funding to quality will help guide and incentivize the country's newly autonomous institutions as they collectively pursue national objectives and improve overall education quality. RAND research briefs present policy-oriented summaries of individual published, peer-reviewed documents or of a body of published work.
The technical education is necessary to create the knowledge and the soft wealth for the nation. Reinforcing these concerns are poor infrastructure, underprepared faculty, unwieldy institutional governance, and other obstacles to innovation and improvement.
However, simply establishing policies linking quality and funding is not sufficient to ensure a high-quality education system. However, the international literature suggests that voluntary accreditation with ties to incentives is more effective in driving institutional buy-in and compliance. Widely disseminating data on institutional quality will help students and their families make informed choices in selecting a school.
They can also be used to create a vibrant environment for research innovation and teaching strategy development.
Others have had success with academic audits, whereby institutions are coached by government officials through the planning and budgeting process.


But it will be important for India to approach these reforms carefully to ensure their success over the long term. The knowledge economy can only sustain if the people are trained to the changing needs of the business to respond to the techno- local needs of the business environment. Funding has been a continuing challenge, with public investment unable to keep up with expanding enrollment numbers and an inefficient process for allocating funds across the system.
As in other countries, these reforms could include approaches that link quality measures to funding rates, grants for innovation and improvement in teaching and research, and requirements that institutions meet minimal accreditation and quality standards before they can receive public funding. A range of other supports, such as developing a pool of well-qualified faculty and strengthening quality assurance bodies, are needed for these policies to succeed. As capacity develops over time, and as more data are collected, the system can begin implementing performance-based funding mechanisms or performance contracts. The progress of the country depends on the quality of people trained in the colleges to build the technical maturity to connect to higher forums of knowledge. India's key policy document for economic development through 2017, the 12th Five-Year Plan, suggests that the country's higher education institutions should be granted more autonomy over curriculum, staffing, and programs offered.
Many countries also publish data on student outcomes to encourage students to spend tuition money on high-quality institutions. Furthermore, improvement measures should be applied to both public and private institutions, and they should be transparent and accessible to all stakeholders to encourage quality-based decisionmaking. The aim of the paper is to build the strategic for developing the quality technical education in the colleges.
In return, these institutions would be more accountable for their performance and subsequent funding levels.
Consequently, additional resources will be needed to support these stakeholders as they transition to their new governance roles.
This recommendation reflects a worldwide trend: By creating policies that explicitly link quality and funding, other countries are encouraging their institutions to pursue innovative strategies to improve quality.
But transitioning India's higher education system to a decentralized model will require substantial shifts in the way the system is governed and funded.



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