Unless we find creative ways to massively increase investment in higher education, India's potential demographic dividend may fail to translate into a real dividend.
While the university system in England is far from broken, in the last several decades, the more dynamic and competitive US universities have relegated it to the second position worldwide. Abandoning the traditional destinations in England, 100,000 Indian students today study in American universities.
Aware of the decline, the British authorities have been reforming the system in the last 15 years. The latest step in this direction is the report of the independent panel headed by Lord Browne. The panel was asked to make recommendations to increase investment in education, ensure that the quality of teaching is world class and make higher education accessible to anyone with the talent for it. While the ailments of our higher education system are wider and deeper than those of the British system, there are useful lessons for us in the Browne report.