Goa second best in higher education access

Goa has 24.59 institutes of higher education available per lakh for its youth in the age group of 18 to 23. Goa has also provided this age group the best access to engineering and technical colleges after Andhra Pradesh.

This was revealed in the University Grants Commission's (UGC) latest report analyzing higher education trends and challenges in India. Compiled by UGC vice-chairperson Ved Prakash the report shows that though higher education might not be up to the desirable level in Goa, it is definitely one of the best available in the country in terms of access.

"Access to engineering and technical colleges is relatively high in Andhra Pradesh (2.59) followed by Goa (2.34), Karnataka (1.86), Kerala (1.81), Chandigarh (1.59), Maharashtra (1.56), Sikkim (1.41) and Tamil Nadu (1.27)," the report states. Along with these states, Goa also has relatively good availability of medical seats as against most other regions in India, the report states.

Goa is among 14 states that have better access available to higher education than the national average of 12.14. The situation in Goa is heartening when the UGC report notes that in the rest of the country, barring these 14 states, stark inequality prevails in access to higher education despite there being an overall expansion in number of new colleges being set up at a rapid pace.

The study also reveals that Goa ranks second in the country after Chandigarh in terms of gross enrolment ratio with over 13% of its young population enrolled in colleges. In 14 states, the gross enrolment ratio was less than 10% and less than 7% in Jammu & Kashmir and most of the north eastern states. This makes Goa's position appear desirable.

From P!

The coastal state is far behind Chandigarh, where close to 30% of the young population is enrolled in institutes of higher education.

"The state government has provided tremendous accessibility of higher education institutes to its population and in Goa the concentration is not only city-based. In terms of money too, accessibility is good. The fee structure has been kept at an affordable level and various scholarships, interest free loans and schemes to SC and ST are provided. The state's small geographical area has also proven beneficial. The state can still improve its enrolment further and we are aiming to oust Chandigarh from the top spot," higher education director Bhaskar Nayak said. [TOI]