The following centuries saw a few centres of Islamic and Hindu learning emerge. However, India did not produce another world-class university for several hundred years. Just like in any other sphere in daily life, it was only during British colonial rule that formal university education was revived. Modern colleges were set up in Agra, Nagpur, Calcutta, Bombay and Madras in the early nineteenth century. This introduction of Western learning, made accessible through the knowledge of English, was a very important factor that allowed the emergence of India's middle class. And this so termed 'middle class' would go on to produce legends after legends when it came to history of higher education in India. In 1857, three federal examining universities on the pattern of London University were established in the three main British-controlled cities of Calcutta, Bombay and Madras. The existing colleges were affiliated to these universities. Over the next several decades, more universities were founded and by 1947 there were 25 universities in the country.
Post Independence, history of higher education in India went through phases of rapid expansion. The number of universities in the country leapt from 25 in 1947 to 348 in 2005. Enrollment rose from 0.1 million in 1947 to 10.5 million in 2005. In present times, the country's higher educational institutions have an enrolment of 10.5 million students and turn out 2.5 million each year. Approximately 45 per cent of the students pursue degrees in the arts, 20 per cent in sciences and 18 per cent in commerce. The remaining 17 per cent are enrolled into professional courses like law and medicine. The sheer numbers may seem enormous, but that appears pretty small for a country of India's size.