“Doesn’t Make Me Happy”: IIT Delhi Director On Improving QS World University Rank
IIT Delhi Director V Ramgopal Rao on Wednesday said the institute’s performance in the recently-announced Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World Rankings 2022 does not make him happy.
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi Director V Ramgopal Rao on Wednesday said the institute’s performance in the recently-announced Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World Rankings 2022 does not make him happy although, adding that the top institutes in India can be among the top 50 institutions of the world, if they improve their performance in just a few of the parameters used in the international rankings -- international faculty and students.
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As per QS World University Rankings 2022, IIT Delhi is India's second-best university. The institute has improved its position from the 193rd rank to 185 since last year, overtaking IISc Bangalore in the process.
“IIT Delhi has improved its ranking by 8 places and we have shown an improvement in 5 out of 6 ranking parameters. But it doesn't make me happy or elated. Our top institutions in India can be among the top 50 in any of the World University Rankings,” Prof Rao said in a note to his colleagues, students, and staff members.
IIT Delhi has scored lowest in international faculty and international students – two parameters that contribute 5 per cent each to the total weightage in the QS rankings.
“IIT jobs are government jobs. Recruiting international faculty is still riddled with policy issues at all levels...but we need to go global in our faculty hiring. We are trying, but it takes time. It can't be changed overnight,” he added.
IITs need to admit more international students, but not at the cost of Indian students who wish to join these institutes, Prof Rao said.
“India simply needs to create a lot more high-quality institutions so the pressure on IIT admissions comes down,” he added.
Pointing out that 50 per cent of the scores for QS rankings is reputation-based, the IIT Delhi said Indian institutions can improve their academic reputation by making themselves more visible. “We need to talk about ourselves more and inform the public (both in India and abroad) about our research accomplishments. We simply need to be more visible ourselves. Outreach is important”.
Institutes must also improve their faculty to student ratio, another important parameter in QS rankings that contributes 20 per cent, Prof Rao said. However, finding “IIT quality faculty” is a challenge, he said, as it is mostly restricted to Indians, or people of Indian origin. “The older IITs added 2500 additional students in the last 2 years because of EWS quota implementation. So we took a hit on this for reasons beyond our control,” he said.
“It's important for all of us to have this perspective so we can educate general public about this. It's also important for all of us to work together on this...you can replace IIT Delhi with Bombay or other top institutions from India, and the story remains the same,” Prof Rao said.