China and India are the two largest higher education systems in the world with total enrollment of 29.1 million and 26.7 million students as compared to 21 million in the U.S in 2010.
India has the largest system in the world in terms of undergraduate enrollment of 19.8 m. students as compared to 12.7 m. in China and 10.4 million in the U.S.
In contrast, India has much smaller proportion of students enrolled in the vocational education. This highlights the skilled manpower shortage in India which is simply ballooning with time.
Indian sociocultural enviornment creates aspirations for bachelor’s degree even if they do not offer employment opportunities. After earning bachelor’s degree many continue for master’s education in hope for subsequently getting jobs. This situation of postgraduate unemployment is also emerging in China. Indian students (2.7 m.) at master’s level are also more than double as compared to China (1.2 m.).
This fascination for getting advanced degrees suddenly stops as the doctoral level where India has one-third of students in China. Here is my earlier article on the qualitative and quantitative challenges in India on two extremes of higher education–vocational and doctoral.
Source: AISHE, Ministry of Education, China
Copyright Dr. Rahul Choudaha
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