Institute for Social and Economic Change
Working Paper: 463
Assessing Quality of Higher Education: An Empirical Study
of Commerce Graduates, Kerala State
The paper examines the quality of higher education in the Indian context in terms of subject knowledge (curriculum) together with analytical thinking and communication skills. The study further explores whether there exists any difference in the quality of higher education based on the above three parameters between women and men and if so, in what way is this difference more revealing. In order to accomplish the aforementioned objectives, 416 students belonging to commerce stream from 21 colleges affiliated under four universities in Kerala were selected as the respondents to be administered with an achievement test. The results indicate that the students’ overall performance is not satisfactory, as reflected by a low mean with a high variance in the learning outcomes. Besides, an analysis based on Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition technique shows that a significant difference existing in the learning outcomes related to analytical thinking between male and female students is because of the coefficient differences i.e., a significant difference exists even with similar individual characteristics of students, which can be attributed to the presence of gender discrimination in higher education.