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Private universities, colleges forge new paths to raise quality of higher education

State and centrally-funded institutions from Tamil Nadu may have made it to the top in the National Institutional

Ranking Framework (NIRF), but a large number of private universities and colleges have also ranked among the top institutions. And at a time when the state has faced criticism on increasing vacancy in engineering colleges, some of these private institutions lead the way in improving the quality of higher education. VIT University, Vellore, has been ranked 13, only after the 11 Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and one National Institute of Technology (NIT).

VIT has worked out innovative teaching-learning methodologies, improved its research activities, and implemented practical-oriented learning to emerge as one of the leading private engineering institutions in the country, its chancellor G Viswanathan said.

"In 2003, when we implemented the entrance exam, we received 7,500 applications, and this year it touched 2.12 lakh. This is because of a fully flexible credit system that we have implemented on our campus which allows students to choose their subjects according to the credits they would like to earn, choose their faculty and timing of lecture as well," he said.