Skip to main navigation menu Skip to main content Skip to site footer

Higher Education Landscape in India: Government Expenditure and Its Implications on Growth and Access


India’s higher education system grapples with myriad challenges perpetuated by scarcity of resources. This study seeks to analyse the quantitative growth of India’s higher education since independence, particularly focusing on the post-reform period. The research employs regression models, including the semi-log, Gompertz and multiple linear models, to determine growth rates and forecast variables up to 2035. The study reveals a significant expansion of higher education during the examined period, though it falls short of meeting the increasing demands. To achieve the goal of a 50 per cent Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) by 2035, the Government of India must take steps to boost its expenditure on higher education. The analysis powerfully underscores that despite the extensive proliferation of higher education in India, its efficacy might be limited without concurrent implementation of robust policies directed towards amplifying government expenditure within the sector.


Higher Education, Access, Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER), Dropout Enrollment Ratio (DER), Government Expenditure, India



  1. Abdullah, M. B., Harun, M., & Jali, M. R. (2017). Government funding in education industry. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 7(6), 769–772. DOI:
  2. Aruchami, M. (2003). Private initiatives and quality imperatives in higher education. In Privatisation of Higher Education (1st ed., pp. 13–19). Essay. Association of Indian Universities.
  3. Behera, P. K., & Khatei, R. (2018). An analysis of public finance on Education Sector in India. VISION : Journal of Indian Taxation, 5(2), 72–83. DOI:
  4. Carnoy, M. (1999). Globalization and educational reform: What planners need to know. UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning.
  5. Choudhary, S. K. (2008). Higher education in India: A socio-historical journey from ancient period to 2006-07. Journal of Educational Enquiry, 8(1), 50–72.
  6. Committee for Review of National Policy on Education. (1990). Towards an enlightened and humane society. National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration.
  7. Deb, R. (2023). Improving Indian higher education quality: Challenges and opportunities. Indian Journal of Public Administration, 69(2), 275–288. DOI:
  8. Duraisamy, P., & Duraisamy, M. (2016). Contemporary issues in Indian higher education. Higher Education for the Future, 3(2), 144–163. DOI:
  9. Garg, A., Sharma, A., & Garg, N. B. (2020). Impact of web-based learning and teaching in Higher Education in India. Journal of Computational and Theoretical Nanoscience, 17(6), 2689–2694. DOI:
  10. Ghosh, S. C. (1995). The History of Education in Modern India 1757-2012. Orient Blackswan Private Limited.
  11. Ghosh, S. C. (2000). The History of Education in Modern India. Orient Longman Limited.
  12. Government of India (GoI). (1950). University Education Commission, 1948-49 Report, Part I. Government of India.
  13. Government of India (GoI). (1966). Education and National Development, Report of the National Commission on Education (1964-66). Government of India.
  14. Government of India (GoI). (2009). National Knowledge Commission Report to the Nation 2006-2009. Government of India.
  15. Government of India (2021). National Education Policy 2020. Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India.,quality%20education%20to%20all%2C%20thereby
  16. Government of India (GoI). (2023). Social infrastructure and employment: Big Tent. Economic Survey 2022-23 (pp. 144–215), Ministry of Finance
  17. Gujarati, D. N., & Porter, D. C. (2004). Multicollinearity: What happens if the regressors are correlated? Basic Econometrics (5th ed., pp. 348–350). The McGraw-Hill Companies.
  18. HEA (2008). National Plan for Equity of Access to Higher Education 2008-2013. National Office of Equity of Access to Higher Education, Higher Education Authority.
  19. Jain, R. (2022). Skyrocketing cost of higher education in India. Edumpus.
  20. Khan, J. (2001). Decolonising: Implications for english education.
  21. Khemani, T., & Narayan, J. (2006). Higher Education Sector in India: Opportunities and Reforms. Foundation for Democratic Reforms.
  22. Krishnan, C. (2021). Financing of state universities in India: A case study. Issues and Ideas in Education, 9(1), 7–19. DOI:
  23. Kohtamäki, V., & Kaila, E. N. (2021). Access to higher education. Encyclopedia of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, 1–11. DOI:
  24. Ministry of Education and Culture (MoEC). (2020). The report of the university education commission (December 1948- August 1949). Internet Archive.
  25. Ministry of Education and Social Welfare (MoESW). (1990). Towards equality report of the committee on the status of women in India. Internet Archive.
  26. Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD). (1992). National Policy on Education 1986: Programme of Action 1992. Ministry of Human Resource Development.
  27. Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD). (2020). National Education Policy 2020. Ministry of Human Resource Development.
  28. Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) (2021). All India Survey on Higher Education: 2019-20. Department of Higher Education, Government of India.
  29. Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation (MoSPI). (2024). Per-capita monthly household consumption expenditure more than doubled during 2011-12 to 2022-23. Press Information Bureau.
  30. Malik, Y. (1984). A study of the attitude of students of Jawaharlal Nehru University Towards Higher Education. JNU, Unpublished M.Phil. Dissertation.
  31. Ministry of Education (MoE). (2020). Unified District Information System for Education Plus (UDISE+). Department of School Education and Literacy.
  32. Mohanty, J. (1993). Dynamics of higher education in India. Deep and Deep Publications.
  33. Naik, J. P. (1965). Educational planning in India 1965. Allied Publishers, New Delhi
  34. National Scholarship Portal. (2022). Pradhan Mantri Uchchatar Shiksha Protsahan (PM-USP) Yojana.
  35. Pal, Y. (2009). Report of the committee to advise on renovation and rejuvenation of higher education. Ministry of Education.
  36. Panigrahi, J. (2023). Financing of public higher education institutions in India. Financing of Higher Education, 63–83. DOI:
  37. Perkin, H. (2006). History of universities. (J. J. Forest, & P. G. Altbach, Eds.) Springer. DOI:
  38. Powar, K. B. (2002). Indian higher education: A conglomerate of concepts, facts and practices. Concept Pub. Co.
  39. Powar, K. B. (2012). Expanding domains in Indian higher education. Association of Indian Universities Publications.
  40. Prakash, V. (2007). Trends in growth and financing of higher education in India. Economic and Political Weekly, 42(31), 3249-3258.
  41. Prodan, A., Maxim, E., Manolescu, I., Arustei, C. C., & Guta, A. L. (2015). Access to higher education: Influences and possible implications. Procedia Economics and Finance, 20(1), 535–543. DOI:
  42. Rao, S. M. (2023). Demand for Grants 2023-24 Analysis: Education. PRS Legislative Research.
  43. Rani, P. G. (2022). Provision and financing of higher education across States: Does it converge? Journal of Educational Planning and Administration, XXXVI(2), 93–115.
  44. Rathore, M. (2023). India: Annual cost of higher education by type. Statista.
  45. Ravi, S., Gupta, N., & Nagaraj, P. (2019). Reviving higher education in India. Brookings Institution, India.
  46. Rout, B. C. (2015). Determinants of students dropout in Indian higher education. In R. Ramdas (ed). Democracy, Governance and Tribes in the Age of Globalised India - Reality & Rhetoric (pp. 71-90). Gyan Publishing
  47. Sargent, J. (1948). Progress of education in India 1937-1947. Decennial Review. Osmania University: Central Bureau Of Education. Retrieved from
  48. Sharma, Dr. M. (2022). Principles, practice, and policy problems in the financing of higher education in India. International Journal of Innovative Research in Engineering & Management, 9(1), 401–404. DOI:
  49. Sharma, S. (2019). Access to higher education in India: An overview. Amity Management Review, 8(1), 39–49.
  50. Sharma, S.K. (2015). Financing of higher education in India: Present state & challenges. Academic Discourse, 4, 76-83.
  51. Sharp, H. (1920). Selections from educational records part I 1781-1839. Bureau of Education, India.
  52. Tilak, J. B. (2004). Public subsidies on education in India. Economic and Political Weekly, 39(4), 343359.
  53. Tilak, J. B., & Biswal, K. (2015). The transition to higher education in India. C. Wing, The Transition from Secondary Education to Higher Education - Case Studies from Asia and the Pacific (pp. 47-66). UNESCO.
  54. Tjørve, K. M., & Tjørve, E. (2017). The use of Gompertz models in growth analyses, and new Gompertz-Model Approach: An addition to the unified-richards family. PLOS ONE, 12(6), 1–17. DOI:
  55. Tobenkin, D. (2022). India’s higher education landscape. NAFSA.
  56. University Grants Commission (UGC). (2015). “Ishan Uday” for North-Eastern Region. University Grants Commission.
  57. UNESCO. (2009). Communique: 2009 World Conference on Higher Education: The New Dynamics of Higher Education and Research for Societal Change and Development. UNESCO UNESDOC Digital Library.
  58. UNESCO (2009). Education Indicators Technical Guidelines. UNESCO Institute for Statistics.
  59. Varghese, N. V. (2021). Financing of higher education in India. Quality Mandate for Higher Education Institutions in India (pp. 223–235). University Grants Commission.
  60. Varma, S., (1970-71- 1971-72). Educational policy of mountstuart elphinstone (pp. 202-214). Bulletin of the Deccan College Post-Graduate and Research Institute, 31/32(1/2),
  61. Walker, M. (2019). The achievement of university access: Conversion factors, capabilities and choices. Social Inclusion, 7(1), 52–60. DOI:


Download data is not yet available.