India has world's largest Higher education sector with over 70 million enrollments. There are 993 Universities, 39931 Colleges and 10725 Stand Alone Institutions.

Universities in India tend to fall into one of four categories: central universities, state universities, deemed universities and private universities. In addition, one can find institutions designated as Institutes of National Importance. Because of the country’s huge demand for education, the number of private and for-profit colleges has escalated in recent years, but the quality of teaching they offer varies widely and has consistently been called into question 16 Universities are exclusively for women. In addition to 1 Central Open University, 14 State Open Universities and 1 State Private Open University, there are 110 Dual mode Universities.

Total enrolment in higher education has been estimated to be 37.4 million with 19.2 million male and 18.2 million female. Female constitute 48.6% of the total enrolment. Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in Higher education in India is 26.3%, which is calculated for 18-23 years of age group. GER for male population is 26.3% and for females, it is 26.4%. For Scheduled Castes, it is 23% and for Scheduled Tribes, it is 17.2% as compared to the national GER of 26.3%.

Uttar Pradesh comes at number one with the highest student enrolment followed by Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. The total number of foreign students enrolled in higher education is 47,427.

With the enrollment of around 34,99,999 students, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) is the World's Largest Open University based on student enrollment. Banaras Hindu University, established on 4th January 1916 based on the pattern of universities at Taxila and Nalanda is one of Asia's largest residential university with more than 35000 students. Bethune College affiliated to the University of Calcutta is the first women's college in Asia and the oldest women's college.

There has been an estimation that Indian students spend about 7 billion to go and study in universities abroad.