Nation Other News 28 Jul 2018 Challenge for higher ...

Challenge for higher education council make it autonomous

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | DR N PRABHUDEV
Published Jul 28, 2018, 3:10 am IST
Updated Jul 28, 2018, 3:10 am IST
A complex society is demanding graduates with more skills and capacities. HEC has no answer.
 The graduates are not employable due to lack of skills. Higher education and Industry stand disconnected.
  The graduates are not employable due to lack of skills. Higher education and Industry stand disconnected.

The digital revolution, globalization, and the ever more rapid pace at which new knowledge is created, is a challenge to the Higher education council and the universities. The recent developments in access to content, delivery methodologies, teacher development, industry engagement, research and every area of higher education need active engagement and are ignored by the current higher education council.

Rankings undoubtedly have stimulated “The concept of excellence”. The rankings have removed the fiction of ‘equality’ between and within HEIs.

 

The Higher education council is at cross roads. A complex society is demanding graduates with more skills and capacities. HEC has no answer.

There are 25 State government universities, 15 Deemed universities and 10 private universities. The Karnataka State Universities Bill, 2017, which will have under it 21 State- universities coming under the Higher Education Department is awaiting governors consent. Private universities have separate acts.

This act effectively removes to the academic, administrative and financial powers of the universities and VCs. It leads to beurocracy taking over the universities and making it an extension of govt department. The govt secretaries will be more powerful and the VCs are reduced to yours obediently!

 

A key research question relates to the legal autonomy and political independence of this organization. Let Academicians manage the academics of Higher education.

There is no research of international standards in any of our universities. No patents worth the name. After Sir CV Raman no Indian- for the research done in India, has been awarded a Nobel Prize. Nation’s universities are the hub of knowledge and discovery. 56% of basic research is being conducted at western universities. No basis for basic research in our universities.

These students go on to become the next generation of scientists, engineers, teachers, and leaders in government and industry. The university should have at least one research center as a separate entity with opportunities for undergraduates to participate directly in research. 

 

Research at universities needs to be ­totally revamped to global standards. Education in the US has changed from teaching known knowledge and added research as a major part. The new State Higher Education Commission should implement  Publishing in high-quality journals compulsory and relate it to promotions and grants.

Higher education council suffers from several systemic deficiencies. The graduates are not employable due to lack of skills. Higher education and Industry stand disconnected. The new state higher education commission should advice on the curriculum requirements of today and tomorrow with collaboration from the industry.

 

The hew SHEC should support the international mobility of students, researchers, academic programs and university research. Absence of international education strategy is glaring from higher education council.

Examination process of all universities has suffered great set back. It does not reflect the true level of knowledge acquired by the students. The process of examination in universities has become a contemporary shame. The pitfalls are inordinate delays, Question paper leakage, Impersonation, Frauds in evaluation, Marks card cheating, Fake degree certificates etc. 

 

The new SHEC should Promulgate a New Examination Malpractices Act. A functioning law with implementable penalties would go a long way to deter perpetrators of fraud in examinations.

Bureaucracy is running the Higher education council and the academician’s role is fast diminishing. Bureaucracy cannot innovate and the higher education of today can only produce clerks and managers. There is academic initiative paralysis in the HEC. 

There is a crisis of monumental proportions in the appointment of Vice chancellors which has a cascading effect on the administration of the universities and academics of higher education.

 

The new State Higher Education Commission should strive to develop at least two top-class universities to be ranked in the first 200 universities of the world.

1. Regulation and governance The twin issues of autonomy and accountability, is of critical importance for the future of the education system. The nature of the regulatory arrangements practiced by the Higher Education Council inhibits reforms. 

2. The State Higher Education Commission should create favorable conditions and bench marks to improve the quality and infra structure and pedagogy. There are no smart class rooms in any of the govt universities- is shocking!

 

3. There is 40% vacancy of faculty positions in all the universities, more in some! SHEC should formulate a policy to hire the best faculty and to fairly compensate them.

Several institutions-(Eight) have been given the status of private universities - nearly five years back and have failed to function as such. HEC is sleeping over the issue. There are universities where anarchy rules! A chancellor had to court jail and there was a conflict to grab power between the brothers and the higher education council is helpless to come to the rescue of students and the staff.

 

The curriculum and content of courses has to change on a continuing basis to reflect changes taking place in the society and the new knowledge that is available. Majority of the universities in Karnataka have not changed their curricula for decades. The process for changing curricula in the universities is painfully slow. The new state higher education commission has to address this issue effectively.

Substantial investments are required to transform abstract ideas from scientific research into commercially viable products and patents. It also requires the universities to be proactively engaged with industry. The higher education council has been blissfully ignorant on this.

 

The new Higher education commission should initiate research into funding mechanisms which are sustainable and adequate. The overall requirement of funds for higher education is recommended at an average unit cost of `60,000/- per annum per student. Additional funds are required for new infrastructure and facilities for expansion of enrolment. 

The bane of university education is inadequate funds. The HEC has not initiated any research on policy of resources for funds to the universities. The grant-in-aid system should be modified to reward quality, efficiency and innovativeness.

 

Higher education council has never addressed the problem of affiliation. Many of the ills of today’s higher education are often attributed to the system of affiliation. 

Teaching is not effective unless it results in learning. Yes there is a need for new autonomous academic State Higher education commission in place of a beurocratic Higher education council. 

...
Location: India, Karnataka, Bengaluru




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