Disturbing trends in our architecture education

Disturbing trends in our architecture education

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The National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) recently released the ranking of higher educational institutions and in case of architecture, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur was adjudged as the best institute. NIRF published the list of 15 top architectural schools in India, the ranking of which was done after analysing various parameters like teaching, learning & resources; research and professional practice; graduation outcomes; outreach and inclusivity and lastly the perception. No doubt India Rankings is a mammoth task which requires expert knowledge to study and analyse voluminous data of numerous institutions. Meanwhile, data collected also reveal some facts which have come as a surprise and even shocking.

Average placement salary is going down

NIRF may consider numerous parameters to make its ranking process best and foolhardy but an ordinary student’s most important criteria for selecting an educational institution will primarily be placement chances and the initial pay packet. And unfortunately, data provided by the top 15 architecture schools indicate a disturbing trend on this important parameter. Average salary package offered to architecture students on placements is going down during the last three years, that is, from academic year (AY) 2015-16 to AY 2017-18.  While the average placement salary of top 15 architecture schools in 2015-16 was Rs 4.49 lakhs pa, it has gone down in next two years to touch Rs 4.09 lakhs in 2017-18. In case of top ranked IIT Kharagpur, median salary of the students placed in 2015-16 was Rs 9 lakhs which has gone down subsequent years to touch Rs 6.09 lakhs in 2017-18, a drop of nearly 1/3rd.

Average annual placement salary (for graduate students)

Academic Year No of students placed Average salary

(Rs in lakhs, p.a.)

2015-16 303 4.49
2016-17 287 4.16
2017-18 327 4.09

Interestingly, in case of IIT Kharagpur, median salary of graduate students is more than that of post graduate students. This trend has been continuing for the last three academic years though the gap between salaries for graduate and post graduate students is narrowing over the years.

Median placement salary in lakh rupees (Graduation)

College 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18
IIT Kharagpur 9.00 7.00 6.09
IIT Roorkee 5.89 4.80 6.50
NIT Calicut 6.30 4.80 4.20
SPA Delhi 3.60 4.20 4.49
College of Engineering T’puram 5.40 3.60 2.80
SPA Bhopal 2.40 2.64 3.00
NIT Tiruchirappalli 6.25 6.75 6.50
Jamia Millia Islamia 3.87 4.20 4.80
SPA Vijayawada 4.50 3.60 3.00
BITS Ranchi 3.80 2.50 2.82
College of Engg Visakhapatnam 2.50 2.50 2.50
Anna University 2.40 2.40 1.86
Aligarh Muslim University 5.40 4.56 3.96
Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology 3.50 5.11 5.00
BMS Bengaluru 4.40 3.50 0

Median placement salary (Post graduation)

College 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18
IIT Kharagpur 5.00 5.00 5.75
IIT Roorkee 4.78 5.04
NIT Calicut 0 7.50 7.75
SPA Delhi 3.60 3.60
College of Engineering T’puram 5.52 3.60
SPA Bhopal 5.12 4.20
NIT Tiruchirappalli 0 0 3.00
Jamia Millia Islamia 5.40 4.80 6.00
SPA Vijayawada 6.60 6.00 5.76
BITS Ranchi
College of Engg Visakhapatnam
Anna University 3.81 2.82  
Aligarh Muslim University
Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology
BMS Bengaluru

Placement problems

On the other hand, number of students getting placements as a percentage of total number of students passed is increasing which is a welcome sign. However, one should note that the number of students passing, in top 15 architecture schools, has gone down from 801 in 2015-16 to 696 in 2017-18 while the number of students getting placements have remained almost the same during three years period. In terms of percentage of number of  students getting placements, its not the top three ranked schools  but SPA Delhi & Vijayawada and College of Engineering, Visakhapatnam which top the list. 15thranked BMS Bengaluru could not place even a single student in 2017-18 while third ranked NIT Calicut could place only 1/3rdof its students. However, in case of Post Graduation placements, NIT has achieved 100% placements which no other institute could achieve.

% of students who got placements (Graduation)

Academic Year No of students passed % of students placed
2015-16 801 37.83
2016-17 715 40.14
2017-18 696 46.98

In case of post graduation the number of students finding placements has gone down substantially in 2017-18.

Placement of graduate students

College 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18
Students Placement Students Placement Students Placement
IIT Kharagpur 30 24 37 30 36 27
IIT Roorkee 49 21 34 13 30 17
NIT Calicut 40 20 43 8 40 13
SPA Delhi 73 62 62 50 88 70
College of Engineering T’puram 39 8 39 20 37 21
SPA Bhopal 69 14 61 8 73 17
NIT Tiruchirappalli 48 1 46 15 44 11
Jamia Millia Islamia 35 23 31 24 41 26
SPA Vijayawada 64 47 55 37 63 51
BITS Ranchi 39 8 24 17 24 12
College of Engg Visakhapatnam 37 15 35 21 26 25
Anna University 75 21 78 23 30 12
Aligarh Muslim University 23 17 22 14 22 9
Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology 112 21 68 3 62 16
BMS Bengaluru 68 1 80 4 80 0

Placement of post graduate students

College 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18
Students Placement Students Placement Students Placement
IIT Kharagpur 40 6 39 19 39 8
IIT Roorkee 33 18 32 14
NIT Calicut 0 0 9 8 11 11
SPA Delhi 36 14 38 15
College of Engineering T’puram 35 22 35 20
SPA Bhopal 44 22 45 20
NIT Tiruchirappalli 0 0 0 0 15 7
Jamia Millia Islamia 53 40 76 31 99 46
SPA Vijayawada 13 11 16 15 15 14
BITS Ranchi 3 0 3 0 8 0
College of Engg Visakhapatnam
Anna University 8 6 12 9
Aligarh Muslim University
Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology 18 0 20 0 15 0
BMS Bengaluru 12 0 10 0 9 0

How SPAs are performing

Presently, there are three school of planning and architecture (SPA) in the country at New Delhi, Bhopal and Vijayawada and all of them have been able to make it to the top 15. These SPAs are a group of autonomous public institutes of higher education under Ministry of Human Resource Development.  The SPAs primarily offer undergraduate, postgraduate, doctoral and executive education programmes. SPAs have a special status as “Institutes of National Importance” under an act of Parliament, due to which the degrees provided by SPAs need not be recognized by the AICTE.

Despite enjoying such distinction and uniqueness, SPAs do not figure in top five architecture schools with highest average placement salary. In fact, Jamia Millia Islamia has scored better than SPA Delhi in terms of average placement salary during 2017-18. Is it because, SPAs are giving too much importance to quantity than quality?  Note that nearly 1/3rdof the total students passed from the top 15 colleges are accounted for by these three SPAs in 2017-18. SPA Bhopal has fared very badly in getting placements for its graduates with only 23% of students making it at the placements. On the other hand, SPA Vijayawada has displayed better performance at placements for post graduate students with 14 out of 15 students getting placements in 2017-18.

Male, female ratio

The only silver lining in the architecture education is the increasing participation of female students in recent years. Female students account for nearly 48% of the total students in graduation studies while this percentage is 57% in case of post graduation studies. In most of the Southern schools female students far outnumber the male counterparts. However, in IITs male dominance still persists.