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Student Enrolment Landscape Analysis

This section aims to review the student demographics and understand their impact on the academic continuity of the Indian higher education landscape. Currently, the total enrolment in higher education is estimated to stand at 37.4 million. Statistics given below identify the corresponding diversities of this large student pool.


The GER across Indian HEIs currently stands at 26.3%.

Inference: Even while dealing with the consequences of this pandemic on the ongoing education of the current students, HEIs still need to consider the challenges of resources associated with expanding Indian higher education to increase the GER in medium to long run.

DISTANCE ENROLMENT Distance enrolment is about 10.62% of the total enrolment.

Inference: Majority of the students among the total enrolment have enrolled in non-distance format of education and will therefore be majorly impacted by the disruption caused by the closing of physical campuses during the ongoing pandemic. Therefore, continuity of education is critical since it will affect most of the existing student base.

ENROLMENT IN UNDERGRADUATE STUDIES About 79.8% enrolment is for undergraduate studies. At the undergraduate level the enrolment across the below mentioned disciplines is as follows:
  • Arts/Humanities/Social Sciences – 9 %
  • Science – 5%
  • Engineering and Technology – 5%
  • Commerce – 1%
  • Less than 5% enrolment is for Ph.D. studies.

Inference: Based on this, we can infer that the majority of the students who are affected by the current crisis are pursuing undergraduate (UG) studies. Therefore, UG studies need to be a critical focus while planning the academic continuity in the Indian HEI context.

  • Foreign Students – 47,427
  • Other groups (below percentages are with respect to the total enrolment)
    • Scheduled Caste – 9%
    • Scheduled Tribe – 5%
    • – OBC – 36.3%
  • Muslim Minorities – 2%
  • Other Minorities – 3%

Inference: Based on this, we can infer that more than 50% of the total students enrolled are from scheduled castes/tribes, OBC and minority communities, and thus a large number of students represented by these communities may potentially be more vulnerable to additional disadvantages in continuing their education during these pressing times. Additionally, for the foreign students, one must keep in mind the need for additional sensitivity of treatment, regulatory requirements, and challenges of differences in time-zone in case of attending

Undergraduate studies need to be a critical focus while planning the academic continuity in the Indian HEI context.