The most interesting aspect is going to be how Goa University responds to having fallen 25 places in the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) 2019, released by the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD).
It has dropped from 68th position to 93rd and there is no concealing the fact that this is a major fall. In the past Goa University has hidden behind excuses that a school student may have given for having fallen behind in class. Will it do the same again, or is it going to shake off the stupor it has been living under and get cracking to uplift itself and its rankings? It has to be the later, for now the students of the university are alarmed at the manner in which the university has been falling behind.
From the 20th position in 2016 to the 93rd in 2019 in the NIRF, Goa University has fallen by 73 ranks in four years. Yes, it is still among the top 100 institutes in the country, but for how long will that be? Given that it keeps dropping, the next ranking could well see the only university in the State go into the three figure ranks and out of the top 100. Goa University has nothing to cheer about. On the contrary it has much to feel ashamed of, as the news only gets worse for the University. It also does not feature in the overall ranking for institutes across disciplines, where it had stood 98th last year.
But, that’s not all. The university’s students have a long list of complaints against its functioning and the National Students’ Union of India took the opportunity of the drop in rankings to write to the Chancellor, Vice Chancellor, Chief Minister, with copies to the President of India, the Prime Minister and the Union Human Resource Development Minister, seeking an explanation on the drop in rankings. They also listed their grievances, which include results not being announced on time, high re-evaluation fees, convocation certificates not being given on time, manipulated student election system and a non-functioning grievance cell to address their issues.
That students have written seeking an explanation on the drop in rankings indicates that there is anxiety among the students as it is their future that is in balance. With a degree in their hands, when they enter the job market, a lot of weight is given to the ranking of the university. A drop from 20 to 93 will not give them an edge in a job interview. They are anxious, can the university authorities display the same amount of concern and improve the standard of the university, so that future batches of students don’t have to go through the same apprehension?
The fall in rankings has been consistent which signifies that there is something drastically wrong with the University’s administration and it needs improvement. In October last year, in the World University Rankings – BRICS Regional Rankings, Goa University had stayed at a steady 201 for five consecutive years had fallen to 241. When juxtaposed with the NIRF rankings, it indicates that the university has seen a drop in its quality in recent years. Goa University needs to introspect to arrive at the reason why it has been consistently failing, when it should have been improving upon its rankings so that its students are at par with the best in the country.
If Goa’s highest educational institute is unable to deliver, can students be blamed for seeking admission in universities in other States? The brain drain is not because of lack of opportunities in jobs, but also because of the level of education that is not rising above the average. The youth go outside the State to study and then stay on there for employment. Goa University has to revamp itself to retain our youth in the State. For that it has to improve itself.