Hyderabad: The University Grants Commission (UGC) has released a set of mandates to be followed by educational institutions to ensure that higher educational institutions improve the quality of education by 2022.
One of the most important mandates set by the UGC Committee is: ‘Improve the graduate outcomes for the students so that at least 50 per cent of them secure access to employment/self-employment or engage themselves in pursuit of higher education.’
This is a result of employers complaining that graduates are unemployable because of the poor quality of the education they have received. Prof of English Adeep H. says, “Although many students do pursue their Master’s, you can clearly see a dip from the numbers enrolled in graduation courses. Graduate level education can no longer be treated as a good criterion of education, especially in this competitive world unless it is done from a reputed institution. The more one studies, the more one enriches one’s employability skills. Only if the quality of education in courses offered for Master’s and the problems related to lack of guides and seats for doctoral programmes are rectified, can we make sure that more children pursue the same.”
The decision to include training in soft skills in the undergraduate curriculum such as team work, communication skills, leadership and time management skills, human values and professional ethics has been lauded. Dheeraj Sanghi, a professor at IIT Kanpur says, “This is especially important because many graduates do not know how to behave professionally in a workplace which can affect their growth in their careers. If we introduce soft skills training such as teaching how to do presentations and be part of a team, at the graduate level, we are equipping our students with more than just book knowledge.”
The UGC has also mandated that ‘Every institution shall adopt at least five villages for exchange of knowledge and for the overall social/economic betterment of the village communities.’
Community building is not present in educational institutions here unlike in some countries where students are supposed to do volunteer work as part of their credits.
“Very few educational institutions in the country have mandatory community work. I have been fortunate enough to teach in two institutions where students were asked to do community work one summer and also asked to stay in a remote area and try to figure out innovative projects for their problems,” said Dheeraj Sanghi....