Do you think government should fund students instead of funding universities?

Business Standard poses a question and solicits responses from students across India for their weekly column “ Student’s Corner”

The topic for last week was Do you think government should fund students instead of funding universities?

Here are all the responses sent by IBS students

Funding is a government contribution to help universities impart better education without making the education costlier for the students. These funds are the reason that universities are building themselves better in terms of infrastructure, faculties, technology and so on.  If the government begins to funds the students instead, the result will be rise in student fees and less development of the universities on the whole. Thus a better idea for government would be to insure other form of monetary help to students like increasing scholarships, and reduce interest rates on education loans.

— Neha Singh, IBS Gurgaon.

When we talk about funding student, we are focusing on one individual which in itself is a good step towards the betterment. On the other hand it is about funding whole institutions like universities which could give way to the term ‘corruption’. There is a possibility that the fund which comes to university won’t reach students wholly. And if we actually want to fund the university then we have to keep an eye on the whole system. Rather, personal accounts should be created for individuals so that they or their guardians can use the fund in the correct manner.

— Achint Mathur, IBS Gurgaon.

The government is paying attention to prestigious institutions such as IITs while 90 per cent of the country’s students are studying in less endowed institutions. These disparities must be bridged if higher education is to have the desired effect on the national economy. Therefore the government should fund universities and encourage private sector investment. The government should provide soft loans, scholarships, tuition fee waiver, fellowship, and assistantships to invite growing talents to show their abilities.

— Devang P Gandhi, IBS, Mumbai.

In India there is a huge pool of students who want to study but cannot because of financial incapability. Instead of funding big Universities which concentrates on a small group of population, government should focus on proving funds to students directly, which can also help to reduce the illiterate population. Funding to universities can be self financed also, but there should be proper mechanism and student should get scholarships when needed. But in India we all know how much government distributes and how much the beneficiary receives.

— Anoop Periwal, IBS Mumbai.

Government funding the universities is no guarantee that the benefit will be passed on to the students. Thus it would be better if the government funds the students instead, so that the ones who are bright and deserving get a chance to succeed in future and can pursue their own interests to carve out a career path for themselves. Thus they would not be dependent for the funding of their studies on the university, which might use the government funds for its own purposes rather than utilising them for the betterment of the students.

— Devika Singhal, IBS Gurgaon.

Each year government provides hard earned money of citizens (tax) to various universities to the tune of hundreds of crores. Now if we check the ROI on the invested fund, it would be a negligible. So before funding the student for better education, let we make our education better. Many Indian went to other universities for getting better education. That is why government should firstly focus on improving the education and bringing it to the international benchmark.

— Manish Kumar Gupta, IBS Mumbai.

Neither do we have universities nor do we have the students that are funded by the government. Its actually a ‘double edged sword’. So instead concentrating on a single factor we should concentrate on both the things. There should be more Corporate participation in funding the universities . After all some of the best Corporate honcho’s are from these Universities. Being an MBA myself I completely understand how expensive education has become, funding of students should be done on merit basis so that the right student gets the support. .

— Kshitij Khandelwal, IBS Gurgaon.

Today, there are not enough number of quality universities in the country promoting tremendous competition among the students to grab a seat in one of the good universities. A big part of the population being poor, and not all of them could get to one of these top universities, struggle.Education loans are available, but not to those who don’t have a backup for their loan and have not got to one of these top universities. Still, their career has to excel. They too need a good college to study and educational loan available to them as well.

— Kushal Bhadani, IBS Mumbai.

Aspirations of India to create a ‘knowledge society will remain a distant dream as long as quality higher education is not provided to students who are really willing to study but are financially not so privileged. Need of the hour is to bring bold structural change in the Indian Education System. Education being the only area where we still haven’t focused on economies of scope, thus we need to take some proactive decision like entrance of corporate sector in establishment of private universities with world class research based education methodology.

— Shailja Kapoor, IBS Mumbai.

The government should make it a point to disburse maximum amount of fund to deserving students instead of funding universities. The amount of proportion of disbursement of funds should done in proper proportion. At the same time, The Indian Management institute’s should also see to it that whatever funds they receive from the government it should be properly utilised as a financial aid for the education of the deserving right student. and not to every student.

— Stephan Rodrigues, IBS Mumbai.

The discussion of funding universities or students solely has been a thorny topic since long. The issue is contentious and with corruption being the bread winner in major areas the decision needs high accuracy. Keeping the political issues intact what we have in government universities is complete misery in terms of seats and needy getting the favour. So the needy, which used to starve waiting for colleges, are now starving for seats and opportunities. What we have right now is panoply of inefficiency, RTIs and political favoritism. Theoretically and morally it’s time we let people handle people’s money.

— Manu Arora, IBS Gurgaon.

If the government stops funding the universities, education will be about demand and supply. While the Universities would not stop functioning but rather will only push or encourage courses which have demand in the market; this will turn the society towards those courses and eventually force students to compromise on the field they have to choose than what they really like. In order to avoid the economics in education there needs to be a balance, for this the government should understand, what the skills of the students are than to force the skills needed in a corporation.

— MS Srivamsee, IBS Mumbai.

I think government should fund universities instead of funding students. Government is providing its assistance to students by providing them education loans,and some other schemes. If government funds universities it would be helping both in a way that it would help universities to get more facilities for its students, and providing them with modern facilities which would indirectly help students only. If universities would be having enough funds then they can provide their students with economic help like concessions in their fee,or providing scholarships to more number of students.

— Shweta Singh, IBS Mumbai.

Government should fund students instead of universities. Nearly 38% of India’s population is poor and there are so many talented students but because of poverty they can’t afford to get admission in universities to fulfill dreams. Government should fund students and let students decide in which universities they would like to go based on their choice. Another fact is that, if universities require fund for development, can easily take loans compare to students as because of their poverty they can’t provide anything as security to banks so it become difficult to access loans.

— Babita Burdak, IBS Mumbai.

The government should fund the students directly. It already has a structure at the primary school level which can be expanded for the higher education. The government has the ‘Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan’ for the children between 6-14 years. The students interested for higher studies can be funded after checking the socio-economic background. The government can pay directly to the university or the college the fees and provide books as well. The tracking team should look after the progress of the student and if anyone fails to perform the service should be withdrawn immediately.

— Varun Goel, IBS Mumbai.

Currently, the government shouldn’t stop funding universities but the extra money should be used or allotted for distributing vouchers and cash coupons for those in need. This voucher/coupon system will be directly accountable to the parents who are going to pay for their child’s education through these coupons. This will not only increase literacy ratio but inculcates quality education in a student.

— Abhishek Fanse, IBS Hyderabad.

Better to do an MBA from a foreign university than to do it from India in this much amount, is always a second thought in a student’s mind. Government need to stop this brain drain so that the students can be motivated to study here only and we can actually see that the money is being invested at the right place. Also, funding the university is also a positive point as good infrastructure and better facilities makes a healthy environment to live and study in. It is always said that ‘Padhega India to Badhega India’.

— Vivek Gujral, IBS Mumbai.

The support provided to institutions creates a race for admissions where even many talented students tend to lose. Also government entices more students to study in their funded premier school which artificially boosts the supply of graduates. In turn, this lowers the salaries of these same graduates. The weaker section of society needs to be developed to cure this scenario. Instead of funding premium schools, if government tries to fund primary students, it would not only increase the literacy rate but also develop individuals, which would generate quality graduates, thus improving the job market.

— Vivek Kamalia, IBS Mumbai.

The government has already taken initiative on that facade by escalating the allocation to Right to Education (RTE)-Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) to Rs 25, 555 crore, showing an increase of 21.7% from 2011-12. More such initiatives will not only lead to better education but would also pilot to job creation reducing unemployment. Corruption is not a new word for Indians so if the government would fund Universities there will always be funds that will be sapped out of the system. However, Government must also fund Universities so that there can be research work conducted and study may not just become an activity.

— Vritika Sharma, IBS Mumbai.

Government should act more like a regulator and the catalyst at the same time .The Government should finance the institutes in the initial stages as the gestation period in the education sector is the longest and some kind of financial support is required and also would help in creating benchmark in the education sector .At the end would say the regulation control is highly pivotal in success of the institutes .

— Karishma Virmani, IBS Gurgaon.

Student funding by the government can happen by means of vouchers and educational tax credits. Today government provides funds to government and private-aided universities which then provide education to students. Education for the poor and needy can be greatly improved by funding students who are in need. This will make schools directly accountable to parents since they pay for the education through vouchers. Parents decide and parents choose, not bureaucracies. The poor are getting left behind due to lack of access to quality education. This will ensure quality education for poor and will give them right to education of choice.

— Ankur Sharan, IBS Mumbai.

Imagine if instead of funding universities, the government adopts a policy of rendering financial aids to the students across 26,500 colleges of India. Certainly there would be less financial burden on students but in long run it will harm young students who would be disdained of new technologies and infrastructure. Government spends 1.14 per cent of its GDP on higher education, and adopting the policy of financing students instead would have ill effects too. Instead GOI could adopt policies to help certain needy students financially out of their education funds.

— Sandeep Guleria, IBS Gurgaon.

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