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A Double-Edged Sword—Thoughts on the Massification of Higher Education in India

  • Miloni GandhiEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Higher Education in Asia: Quality, Excellence and Governance book series (HEAQEG)

Abstract

The late APJ Abdul Kalam, eleventh president of India wanted to see the success of India on the educational front and encouraged the young minds of the country to think and dream in a world where many of India’s children are statistically impoverished. Yet, thinking and dreaming in a country without adequate facilities for all children to make these dreams a reality makes for a difficult task. There has been a definite push for education to be the vehicle by which to make such dreams a reality. A focus on education at all levels, primary, secondary and tertiary can be viewed as a long-term solution to bridge the chasm between the rich and poor within the country as well as leveraging India as a more competitive player in the global marketplace. This chapter will focus on the massification of the tertiary education system in India, touching briefly on the educational pipeline leading to enrolment in an institution of higher education, and the trials and tribulations of massification in the Indian higher education context. As presented by Hawkins and Neubauer in the introduction, “the process of massification itself is highly complex and differentiated” but is generally thought of as increasing access which in turn can lead to greater equity and equality. In the case of India, I refer to massification as a double-edged sword because in fact a case for both hypotheses presented by Hawkins and Neubauer can be made in the context of India depending on through which lens you choose to view the issue. With a HE system as vast as found in India, there are numerous arguments that support both hypothesis 1 that massification actually or eventually increases inequality (in India this inequality now just spreads to a larger group of players) and the somewhat contradiction posited in hypothesis 2 that over time massification in HE increases long-term equity and equality even with all the trials, tribulations and intermediary inequality that have to be overcome.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Foothill - De Anza Community College DistrictLos Altos HillsUSA

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