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Study suggests 63% of Indian students feel that their existing curriculum fails at relevant training

The Report, which is authored by academics of UK-based Bournemouth University, also suggests that 67% of Indian employers are unsatisfied with the skills of fresh graduates

Chennai, February 13, 2018: A fresh study on the conditions prevailing in the Indian higher education framework points out that 67% of Indian university students are discontent with the existing curriculum and academic structure at their universities. Moreover, 59% of the surveyed students denied having any access to employability and careers services at their institution. These students argued that despite knowing that higher education is a key element in equipping them with high-level skills and attributes, there wasn’t much they could do about the negligible exposure to practice-based education in their existing curriculum.

The ‘Global Talent in India - Challenges and Opportunities for Skills Development in Higher Education’ Report was written by researchers at the UK-based Bournemouth University working with a range of Indian stakeholders including IITs, IIMs, the University of Madras and Delhi University. The report was released in Chennai by CK Kumaravel, Co founder of Natural Salons, during the Festival of Learning-India 2018, which was supported by London based think tank, Europe India Centre for Business and Industry

Employer organizations that participated in the survey included Alibaba India, CNN India, Google, Accor and a range of entrepreneurs. Also, a range of influential policy-makers, most notably the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE), the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), Sector Skills Councils and the Department for Education in Delhi and Madrastook part in this study.

The study looked at the Indian Higher Education frameworkfrom the perspectives ofthe five major educationalstakeholder groups –Higher Education leadership, Students, Employers, Policy-makers and NGOs.Academic staff and higher education leaders pointed to the current gap between the university curriculum and contemporary developments in the world of work; with 65% of them feeling that students in India are unable to apply graduate-level skills and competencies in their scope of world.96% of the academic staff respondents felt that there is significant value in establishing international collaborations and partnerships.Employers and industry representatives indicated the lack of preparedness of Indian graduates for the world of work, with 67% of them feeling that majority of fresh graduates are unable to demonstrate the higher-level skills that they are looking for in their industry.

Dr. Sonal Minocha, the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Global Engagement) of Bournemouth University, is the lead author of this Report, explained why she took up this subject for research.“Over the last three years, we have been working with a range of stakeholders from industry, academia and government to develop insight and understanding of the challenges faced in developing future ready talent, which is needed for an increasingly global world of work. Rapidly growing economies with a large youth population such as India face a set of unique challenges in attaining their potential. We found a very clear higher-level skills gap in India, which is estimated to cost the Indian economy as much as $8.61 billion in lost productivity (PwC, 2014). Our Report offers preliminary findings for consideration by educators, employers and policymakers in tackling India’s graduate-level skills development challenge. Findings from our Report sought to improve our understanding of the role of Indian higher education in narrowing this gap and provide some ideas for improving the productivity of its workforce through higher education.”

Mr Sujit.S.Nair, Chair of Europe India Centre for Business and Industry mentioned that the reason for higher skill gap in India is because of the over emphasis on theory based knowledge in the Indian educational system and lack of emphasis on practical knowledge. He mentioned that this skill gap can be reduced by encouraging students to develop practical skills and reward them accordingly. At the moment, students are extensively rewarded for their theory based knowledge and this has to change for India to develop a highly productive workforce. He also mentioned that a closer relationship between UK & India can be brought about by building educational collaboration between institutions of these two nations and this was reason why Europe India Centre for Business and Industry supported the Festival of Learning India.

Policy makers suggested that a move towards firmly embedding disciplines such as entrepreneurship, innovation and quality research, have the potential to scale up and support the Government’s efforts in skilling India. Yet, only 30% agreed that Indian universities have the required framework to provide students with new and industry-relevant knowledge. NGO representatives highlighted the current progress of Indian higher education sector in preparing students and graduates for the Indian workforce; 45% of the sampled NGOs suggested that majority of higher education standards in India fail to prepare students for the global workplace. The authors of the Report, Dr. Sonal Minocha, Dr. Dean Hristov and Dr. Chindu Sreedharan, scanned higher education facilities in New Delhi, Pune and Chennai, interviewing and sampling the major stakeholders in the higher education system to compile the final document.

The complete ‘Global Talent in India – Challenges and Opportunities for Skills Development in Higher’ Report can be accessed at:



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