How to improve your Institutions NIRF rank?

Featuring on NIRF top 100 table is certainly prestigious for any College or University. The NIRF ranking system, now in its fifth year is by far the most coveted and authoritative one in the Higher Education Space. As a Higher Education Branding and Marketing Agency what we found interesting is that without changing any parameters of your institutions’ working we can help you jump up by upto 70 positions if you feature on the top 100 list and maybe a lot more if you do not!


How does the Perception Score Impact Ranking?

A significant impact on the institutions NIRF Ranking can occur without you publishish more papers, improving faculty to student ratio, infrastructure or even recruiting new qualified faculty. This is because how your college is perceived by various stakeholders can affect your rankings, 10 point weightage is given to perception in the ranking methodology.

A 10 point advantage for any College/ University can be vital in determining their overall rank.

Let’s take the example of Meenakshi Academy of Higher Education & Research, rank 100 on NIRF University Rankings 2019, with an overall score of 38.45/100. (click here to see the breakdown of their score) Their Perception Score was 0 on 100 translating to 0 out of a maximum of 10 points.

College Ranking in NIRF

Let’s assume their score was not zero and see what impact it would have on their ranking.

Perception Score | Total
Corresponding Overall Rank
5/100 | 38.95
10/100 | 39.45
30/100 | 41.45
50/100 | 43.45
70/100 | 45.45
100/100 | 48.45

A jump of 70 positions is possible for a 100% score in perception. Just by managing perception Meenakshi Academy could be placed above universities like SRM University (Score 47.80), Delhi Tech. Univeristy (44.89), Symbiosis (43.65) and others. Also the affect these rankings have on admissions is incredible. With a great NIRF rank your University/College attracts better students who otherwise would not have considered your institution.

Now let’s take an example from the Law College Rankings from 2019

India’s top Law college with an overall score of 77.21 is National Law School of India University  The No. 2 Spot is with National Law University, Delhi ( Score 76.23) followed by NALSAR, Hyderabad (Score 74.61)

Let’s assume all three get a 100 on 100 score for perception. Can you guess what the table will look like?

National Law University, Delhi
NALSAR, Hyderabad
National Law School of India University

National Law School of India university in 2019 enjoyed a 100/100 perception score whereas NLU, Delhi got a 75.20/100 and NALSAR 70.20/100.

Perception is important regardless of where you are placed on the table and specially if you do not feature on the Top 100 list.


Understanding Peer Perception

Perception of your college is based on the below parameters

PREMP: Employer and Research Investors Perception

PRACD: Academic Peers Perception

PRPUB: Public Perception

PRCMP: Competitiveness

SR: Applications to Seat Ratio

PR: A combined score of PREMP, PRACD, PRPUB, PRCMP

P (Perception Score) = PR (Stakeholder Rating) + SR ( Application to Seat Ratio)

Both PR and SR have a 50 point weightage.

Calculation for SR

SR = 50* ( R/R*)  where R= Applications/Seats  and R* is the max. value of R in the considered set of institutions.

Stakeholder Rating: A stakeholder can be anyone over a large category of people: employers, professionals from reputed organizations, alumni and academicians. The survey is conducted online and is based on the number of replies and the average ratings received in the reply. Depending on the size of the institution these stakeholders can be from your state or the entire country. The institution, however, has no control over who receives these forms from NIRF.

Application to Seat Ratio: Application to Seat Ratio is exactly what it sounds like. The number of application your institutions receives for the number of seats it has to offer.


How to improve my Universities’ Perception Score?

I am sure everyone has had enough of the math lesson and probably wondering whether I will actually provide any solutions in this article or just state the obvious and call it a day! Well, here are a few things you can do to improve your perception score and thus your overall rank.

Building a communications dept. for your institution

Communicating to the World  is as important as doing the research. Communications dept. role is not to publish an admissions open advertisement or a Diwali Facebook post. The responsibility of this dept. is to communicate to the World what the institution, its alumni, its professors are doing. Their achievements, their work and the impact they have had. This can be done via any medium whether it is social media, snail mail, TV, radio or print. Whatever works and fits the institutions budget.

Does your institution have an communication dept or do you need help with building one? Feel free to connect with Anushree from our team at [email protected] who will walk you through the details of how communciation depts. of various institutions function and structured.


Building a Milestone Campaign

For many established colleges, advertising feels embarrassing as it looks like a call for admissions. However, with the right partners you can build a campaign around milestones that your college may be reaching and use it as an excuse to celebrate and inform. Here is an example of a milestone campaign.

Acharya Institutes in 2020 became 30 year old and this is a hypothetical campaign they could have done to improve perception

Building your digital presence

Your digital presence plays a vital role in building your perception. Having an updated website and social media platform which is handled by a dedicated team / agency can help you improve your perception, specially with the younger audience. You can build your start by updating your website and producing share worthy content keeping your current and prospective students in mind. When they begin to share and relate to this content it creates a ripple. You will not only see your Facebook followers improve but also notice an impact on Brand Loyalty. This will even have a direct impact on the number of application your college receives as more and more students are drawn to you.


Building a Campaign to alter perception

We are approached regularly by colleges who would like to alter and manage the perception built around their college, not only to improve admissions but also to improve rankings. A well thought of campaign for your institution will help you attract the right student and build loyalty. Below is an unpublished campaign made for a design school to help them build their reputation as a serious design school and not another franchise center.

Improving Applications

Encouraging more students to apply even though they will not get through is a tactics which has been used to death and I don’t see why any college shouldn’t do the same. When an institution puts clear cut offs and recruits only on the basis of marks, candidates with a lower score never end up applying, even if they aspire to. What this also does is that it makes your recruitment process extremely linear. Students should be encouraged to apply and be judged on a more holistic bench mark. This will not only increase the number of applications your college receives but also improve recruitment drives. Lowering the fixed application fee is also a good way to improve the number of applications to your institution.

The above are just some ways that can have an impact on your perception score, however, a copy paste model wouldn’t work and each institution will have to evaluate their own strengths and weaknesses before taking a call on how to proceed. Remeber what works for IIT Delhi does not work for Amity University and vice-versa.


The author of this blog has been helping Schools and Colleges across the country with their Branding and Marketing efforts for over a decade. He is the founder of IOSIGNITE and currently the Chief Rethink Officer here. To discuss your institutions NIRF Rank or Admissions you can connect with Jay Bagri on his LinkedIn or email [email protected]


Follow us on LinkedIn to stay updated with the top Ed Tech Startups


Follow us on Facebook to stay updated with the best in College Promotional Videos


How to Improve NIRF Rank of an Institutiion?
Article Name
How to Improve NIRF Rank of an Institutiion?
NIRF Rankings have become the most authoritative ranking system in the Indian Higher Education Sector. The article looks into the ranking methodology and how you can improve your rank several points without major changes to your institution.
Publisher Name
Publisher Logo

February - 19,2020 | Posted by: Iosignite



I am a tittle

I stand for attention to detail

I might seem insignificant but i am vital

I am not confined to the box

Follow Me, It'll do you good

Skip to toolbar