Orissa was one of the last territories to be annexed by the Britishers and thus received the gift of liberal education very late. Never the less after the independence of the country, it has made spectacular strides in the field of education and today it is fast emerging as a favored destination for education. With 9 universities and numerous quality educational institutes in the portfolio, the state government seems determined in promoting education in every sphere. The Utkal University, the Orissa University of Agriculture (OUAT) and the Biju Pattnaik University of Technology (BPUT) by imparting some specializations have significantly contributed in the areas of research, crop management and allied sector like fishery and the emerging hi-tech areas.
Many of its private institutes of management, B-Schools, Engineering Colleges and IT Institutes have made a mark by providing a good set of global technocrats and managers. The boom of private institutes has not only helped to fill the industry-academia gap but also strengthen the education system in Orissa.
KIIT is a well established Deemed-University reputed for its undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in Technology, MCA and MBA. The KIIT is an institute with truly national character having over 80 percent of student strength that belong to states other than Orissa. Significantly it also enrolls students from abroad into its academic programme.
Similarly the Orissa Engineering College (OEC) that was established almost two decades back when the concept of private education was virtually unheard of, by Mr. Shri Kamini Kanta Patnaik, has etched a place for itself as one of the best technical institutes in the State. The institute started to bring out a metamorphosis in the scenario of technical education, has rightly succeeded in its objective.
The average literacy rate in Orissa is 63.08% during 2001, as against all India average of 64.8%.
- Male literacy rate is 75.95% and female literacy rate is 50.51% during 2001.
- There are in all 44,416 Primary Schools with 52.54 lakh enrolment and 97 lakh teachers in the State as on 2003-2004. There is one Primary School for every 3.5 Sq.Km area.
- 14.233 Upper Primary Schools as on 2003-04. There is one Upper Primary School for each 10.94 km area in the State.
- Secondary stage of education from Classes VIII to X is under the academic control of the Board of Secondary Education. During 2003-04, 7,011 high schools were functioning in the State which 3,556 were Government High Schools and 657 were aided schools. During 2003-04, there was one High School for every 22.2 sq. km.
- 1,112 General Colleges provide facilities for higher secondary education in the State including 48 Government Colleges.
- During 2003-2004, 1,679 General Colleges were functioning, out of which 96 were Government and 601 were aided colleges.
- There are 4 Government Training Colleges, six Colleges of Teachers Education and three Institutes of Advanced Study in Education, in the State.
- The State has nine Universities.