Excellence in Education: Private Vs Public Colleges

 By: Mugdha Sehgal
Indian higher education continues to undergo three elementary challenges: Access, Equity and Quality. So there comes the dilemma about whether a private college delivers more than public sector institutions or vice versa. Today the inclination is more towards private colleges for engineering and management degrees over the last decade, with mass students currently enrolled in private institutions. The overall enrollments for higher education have reached to approx 14.6 million students in more than 30,000 private institutes. But up till now the core factor upon which the quality of education depends is adequate faculty resource, physical infrastructure, academic standards, and accredited institutions, to name a few.

The superiority of private colleges is justified on the grounds that private institutes prioritize teaching their students while public sector at times feels reluctant. These colleges work to develop student’s personality in such a manner that they can thrive well in this competitive era, also provide them with add on facilities of transportation, etc to ease their struggle of commuting and hence win over the public sector institutes whereas government college’s students are deprived of such services.

Furthermore the medium of education, teaching pedagogy, and punctuality of personnel outshines from that of government institutes. We do believe that by and large government institutes’ provide good conceptual knowledge but still are deficient in offering knowledge of real world whereas private institutes furnish very well guidance to students to break the barriers.

But on the cost side, students of private b-school pay high tuition fees and additional charges where some government colleges especially those of central or state universities do provide high level of education at average fees with facilities of canteen, well equipped library, etc, hereby serving the people not having heavy pockets. Therefore, we can say that Govt. College top the list for this segment as in India maximum people are poor or middle class, they do not have big budgets for their child's admission in private college.

There are many questions in the minds of young aspirants while choosing between colleges of public and private sectors for their management and engineering degrees. To name a few:
1. Which one is better - private or Government College as per their accreditation or affiliation?
2. What is the cost difference? Is it worth spending so much?
3. What is the placement scenario in private & government colleges?
4. Does disparity in infrastructure of private & public college make a difference?
5. Do private colleges have better (newer) facilities?
6. Is there a difference in course curriculum -Does it matter?
7. Is the resource quality (professors) better in private colleges than government colleges?

It’s a truth that the esteemed government Engineering or Management College across India has an excellent placement record. The top offers as well as average salary surpass several private colleges. But exceptions are there too with other govt. colleges. Similarly, several private colleges have succeeded in tying up with MNCs and other big companies and each of them is seen placing 90% of their students. Still we cant ignore the dark reality that there are several newly established private colleges where students are enrolled using fake placement records and then are left on their own to do the job hunt later. Therefore, it's important for students to check the college's placement records for at least past 2 years.

Government colleges generally have strict recruitment norms with post graduate degrees and doctorate being a requisite. The Government pays the faculty well and also offers regular pay hikes. The professors are well experienced and hence know their subject well. However, private colleges are generally seen to suffer from the problem of shortage of professors and higher attrition rate.

We have a regretful state for most of our govt. colleges regarding infrastructure and facilities though these are the crucial factors in the advancement of various set of courses, while private Colleges seem to have better state of affairs. In fact, they advertise these facilities in their shiny brochures. Private institutions like management institutes in delhi have to work hard for maintaining their ranking and meeting AICTE norms but in govt. colleges the approach differs.

Although, quality of students is better in government colleges as compared to private ones because private colleges are more focused on business needs and admissions does not have merit the only criteria unlike govt. institution where merit is a requisite. But what lacks in our government colleges is the research infrastructure. Hence, this calls to say that there are pros and cons of both kinds of colleges.

Therefore the only way to bring excellence in education irrespective of the sector is by allocating more funds to develop research infrastructures, Institutions like AICTE and NBA must keep up higher standards in education and chase it firmly, the entire education system must be altered to bestow priority to realistic knowledge by applying the concepts rather than just serving it into different forms.
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