The gross enrolment ratio (GER) in higher education in India has improved to 23.6 per cent in 2014-15 from 21.5 per cent in 2012-13. Overall, the enrolment in higher education was 33.3 million in 2014-15 compared to 30.1 million in 2012-13, according to a survey on higher education released by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD). The survey was initiated in 2011 to prepare a database on higher education.
GER is calculated for the 18-23 years age group. It is total enrolment as a percentage of the eligible population.
While launching the sixth All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) in New Delhi, HRD minister Smriti Irani expressed confidence that the target of 30 per cent GER by 2020 - as envisaged in the 12th Plan - would be achieved.
During the same period, the number of institutions of higher education listed on the AISHE portal has also increased significantly - there are 757 universities, as against 667, and 38,056 colleges against 35,525.
The survey covers all higher education institutions in India, including universities, colleges, and stand-alone institutions. The survey has been voluntary, based on respondents' motivation and without any statutory mandate in place for collecting information of this nature.
The survey is also unique as it is a participatory effort between state governments, regulatory authorities and ministries of the Government of India. The survey compiles statistics directly online from respondent institutions.