It’s time to change – wake up Indian Universities
Indian higher education sector is at a precarious position. It is because there is a conceptual difference in the motive to join a university between the students in a developed country and a developing country. In developed countries students join universities in quest of knowledge and to further their careers in chosen profession. In a degree seeking environment that prevails in India the aptitude and interest in a particular field are not given due importance and main concern is to acquire a degree and , thereafter, get a preferably white-collar job. Consequently, there is a mad rush for ‘placements’ resulting in undesirable activities. It is a known fact that higher educational institutions indulge in many malpractices to entice HR representatives from the industry to recruit the students.
We should understand that we need an environment where universities are motivated to concentrate on providing quality education. An environment needs to be created wherein universities, instead of hankering after placements, are forced to produce graduates who can acquire certifications from independent bodies.
Today there is neither a structured system nor adequate commitment to produce quality teachers commensurate with the increasing demand for higher education. The magnitude of the challenge can be gauged by the fact that India’s nearly 800 universities and 40,000 colleges employ 8 lakh faculty to teach almost 3.3 crore students but there is no formal system to train the faculty.
The problems faced by Indian higher education sector are multi-faceted. To rebuild our higher education system there is a need to bring about a model shift from preference for degrees to acquisition of higher order skills in students. A well designed faculty development programmes conducted through institutions set up for the purpose could be another step to rejuvenerate higher education in India.
Within a specified time, it needs to be ensured that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development and sustainable lifestyle, human rights, gender equality, promotion of culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development.