Indian Women's Enrollment in Higher Education On a Rise

Indian Women's Enrollment in Higher Education On a Rise

By: WE Staff

India faces gender disparity in education, despite progress in various sectors. However, increasing women's education offers hope for transformation and progress. The recent surveys on Indian women's education show a positive increase leading the way toward women empowered society.

The status of women in India has a strong connection to the country's socioeconomic environment. Education is the key to bring up a world of opportunity and promoting inclusive growth, especially for women. However, despite initiatives to support universal education, gender differences still exist, disproportionately affecting women.

It is not only a question of social equality but also a strategic necessity to address this issue. Women's education has a variety of positive effects on society, including improved health, social cohesion, and economic prosperity. However, obtaining gender parity in education necessitates an extensive approach that addresses societal norms and systemic barriers.

Statistics on Women in Higher Education

The All India Survey of Higher Education (AISHE) 2021-22 provides positive insights into India's higher education landscape. Higher education enrollment has been increasing consistently, with 4.33 crore students enrolled in 2021-2022. This remarkable increase from 3.42 crore in 2014-15 is an increase of 26.5 per cent over seven years, demonstrating the growing popularity and accessibility of higher education in India. A positive rise was also noted in the number of enrolled female students, which increased from 2.01 crore to 2.07 crore in the 2021-2022 academic year. The exact ratio by the survey's 12th edition highlights favorable improvements in gender parity as well as diversity advancements. Women account for 55 per cent of the 91 lakh increase in higher education enrollment since 2014-15, with 61.2 per cent of PG-level science students and 62 per cent in Ph.D. programs, compared to 39 per cent of men in the same period last year.

A number of measures, including enrollment, gender parity, expenditure, market size, and quality, can be used to assess the expansion of higher education in India over the past five years. The overall number of students enrolled in higher education grew from 3.85 crore in 2019-20 to roughly 4.14 crore in 2020-21. Enrollment has increased by over 72 lakh (21%), from 2014-2015. Higher education's Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) increased as well, rising from 26.3 per cent in 2018-19 to 27.1 per cent in 2019-20. There are now more female students enrolled in higher education per 100 male students, according to the Gender Parity Index (GPI), which increased from 0.92 in 2014-15 to 1.01 in 2019-20. In the past five years, there has been an 18.2 per cent growth in female enrollment, with 2.01 crore enrolled in 2020-21.

Around 8.3 million women and 6.1 million men were enrolled in undergraduate colleges in 2022, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. In graduate programs, women outnumbered men by 1.8 million to 1.1 million. In 2020, 73 per cent of women aged 25 to 34 had completed their higher education, compared to 56 per cent of men in the same age group. These findings show that a higher percentage of women in the 25-34 age range pursued post-secondary education. Women are increasingly choosing to pursue post-secondary education.

Increased access to higher education, particularly in developing countries, is being promoted through increased awareness of its benefits, and changing social norms that encourage women's participation. Women's increased labor force participation, productivity, and innovation led to improved economic growth, enhanced social and political participation, and reduced gender inequality and discrimination.