A world of difference

If your country had an elite university, how would you decide who gets in?

In India, this decision is made using a competitive examination. Merely 1 mark – one measly answer to a multiple-choice question – can separate a student who qualifies for the country’s elite technical university and one who does not.

Students of the elite university have exclusive access to the best laboratories, professors, peers and technical opportunities in the country. As the years roll by, two students separated by a single mark begin to inhabit different worlds.

Do students who are separated by one mark in an arbitrary exam deserve to be worlds apart?

When confronted with this question, we blame the imperfection of our competitive, standardized examination and rue that we don’t have a fairer alternative. But that is merely the symptom. The disease is the very existence of the elite universities themselves. Why have we created these exclusive islands of excellence?

In a fairer world, one where excellence isn’t synonymous with elitism, the opportunities available to two students will more closely resemble the marks that separate them.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s