Transition to higher education for an individual implies higher personal returns over life time and for a nation, an addition to human and social capital with potential benefit to society. Therefore, higher rate of transition from secondary to higher education is an index of progress and prosperity to the nation.
The process of expansion in higher education has to be inclusive and not a selective one. All categories of society, rich or poor, privileged or marginalized, need to find their way into the portals of higher learning based on their talent. In order to reap benefits of demographic dividend of India, access, equity and quality need to be the focus in the higher education sector.
West Bengal has a glorious tradition of education through establishment of Calcutta University in the year 1857, Bengal Engineering College (now BESU) in 1856 and subsequently Jadavpur University in 1955. West Bengal University of Technology (WBUT) was established in the year 2001.
At the same time there has been a manifold increase in the intake capacity of the various educational institutes churning out Graduates (including Technical Graduates) and Post Graduates in the state.
This report dwells on the agenda for development for the higher education system in the state.