Education is central to the improvement of the lives of young people and for the development of a nation. Higher education brings significant benefits to individuals, society, and the economy. It enriches the lives of individuals, opens the doors to rewarding careers by enhancing physical and mental wellbeing. Although, India has achieved considerable progress in school education, a large number of disadvantaged people still lack access to higher education due to poverty. At present, India has more than 903 universities, 39,050 colleges and 10,011 stand alone institutions across the country. The expansion of enrolment is also observed in the increased GER, from 21% in 2011-12 to 25.8% in 2017-18 (MHRD). However, the GER is much below the world’s average which is 44% and way behind that of the developed countries (58%).
The investment on education and human capital leads together greater output for the society and enhances the earnings of the individuals and develops the society. Further, there is a strong relationship between educational and national development, and therefore, education is meant for growth and development of human resource which leads to socio-economic and development of a nation. Therefore, the Universal Higher Education Trust (UHET) envisaged facilitating access to higher Education especially from disadvantaged groups to prepare individuals learn new skills better, thus move-up the occupational ladder and increase their earnings and development of the nations’ economy.
The UHET’s “HEARTS (Higher Education for All to Realize Transformation of the Society)” project gives financial assistance, career guidance, advocacy, networking, educational outreach and skill development for young people. This project envisages that all those who pass Plus-Two would get admission in any higher educational institutions and this project is the first-of-its-kind in India.