Correlates of the National Ranking of Higher Education Institutions and Funding of Academic Libraries: An Empirical Analysis

Vinit Kumar, Preedip Balaji, Monika  | 2021


In the 21st-century knowledge society, academic libraries are central to institutions and are challenged for their relevance amidst disruptive technological innovations and competition. This paper aims to understand the pattern of library funding in the top Indian Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) by comparing their library budgets. Using data from the National Institute Ranking Framework (NIRF) 2019 ranking of institutions we analyzed the library budgets to find out if there are correlations between the ranking of the institution against the budget of concerned academic libraries comparing the data in three independent categories of the NIRF Rankings 2019 which are: Overall, Universities and Colleges categories. Findings indicate that, although universities and colleges have a higher number of enrolled students to serve in comparison to overall HEIs, spend lesser capital towards the teaching-learning activities. This assessment finds a significant positive correlation between capital expenditure and the national ranking score in all three categories of ranking. Results confirm a strong correlation between the library expenditure and national ranking score, indicating that the institutions spending more towards libraries also score higher in the national rankings. The study also found that on an average Rs. 7491 is spent by Indian HEIs per user, while universities and colleges spent Rs. 4369 and Rs. 370.66, respectively. These findings will be of importance to higher education policymakers, academic administrators, librarians and funding agencies—evaluating academic libraries to achieve higher rankings. The findings have implications in linking the library expenditure to rankings.