The Higher Education Department is a part of the STIHE Team. The department undertakes several prestigious and important initiatives and projects.

The key issue that is the backdrop for all department's endeavors is strengthening industry-academia linkages. The department activities are accordingly aimed at stimulating industry-academia collaborations for achieving excellence in higher education from academic perspective and thereby producing quality human resource and research outputs for the benefit of industry.

The star initiative of Higher Education, CII Delhi is Prime Minister's Fellowship Scheme for Doctoral Research. Under this scheme—instituted in collaboration with SERB, DST, Government of India--PhD fellows are given double scholarship, co-sponsored by the Government and industry, to do research on industry-relevant projects. Up to 100 fellowships are awarded each year under the scheme for duration of four years. The areas of research supported under the scheme are science, technology, engineering, agriculture and medicine. A total of 67 students are currently benefitting from this prestigious fellowship with support of top institutes and global companies.

Another popular initiative of the Higher Education Department is the AICTE-CII Survey for Industry-Linked Technical Institutes that maps industry linkages of Indian technical institutes. The objective of the survey is to showcase best practices of industry partnerships across AICTE approved technical institutes in the streams of engineering, pharmacy, management and architecture. Over 1000 AICTE approved institutes from both established institutes and emerging engineering and management institutes, participated in the fourth edition of the voluntary survey in 2015. Industry sponsored awards to the winners are given in an award ceremony on the first day of the Higher Education Summit. Top corporates including Tata Chemicals, Forbes Marshall, Microsoft, Infosys, Elico, Sun Pharma, Godrej, Bharat Forge and Cadila have joined hands in the past editions to give awards to the winning institutes in recognition of their strong linkages with industry.

Given the diversity of regulations and schemes followed in each state as far as higher education was concerned, it was decided to prepare a national-level report which would give snapshots of every state's initiatives in higher education. The ASHE report is prepared in partnership with the Ministry of Human Resource Development every year towards this end.

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has been conducting the Indpact Survey, i.e., a survey of industry linkages of technical institutes in partnership with the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) for the past four years with the objective of mapping the extent and depth of these linkages in India. Over the years, more than 3000 institutes have participated in this survey, assessed their performance and learnt where they stand vis a vis other institutes in different categories. One consistent finding of the survey has been that less than 15 per cent of the participating institutes have demonstrated high industry linkages while majority (70 per cent) falling in the medium category and 15 per cent in the low industry linkages category.

To help these 85 per cent institutes improve their performance and also the employability of their students, CII has started a mentorship programme to provide guidance and support to students, faculty and academic leaders. The CII Mentorship Programme for Higher Education was launched at the ‘Global Exhibition on Services’ on 21st April. The programme offers courses for faculty and students at subsidised rates and more courses are in the process of being added.

Apart from the several small events that the department hosts all the year round with various Universities and educational bodies, the flagship event hosted by the Higher Education department is the University-Industry Congress. This business colloquium brings together institutes and global organization for discussing investment model and foster linkages in higher education, innovation and research. The summit gives an opportunity to global institutes and industries to interact with Indian institutes and industries and vice-versa. Being the melting pot of our year-long initiatives, the summit is the platform where the achievements, shortfalls and road-ahead are showcased, analysed and deliberated.