Eminent educationists and experts from major institutes in the country got together at the HT Campus Conclave on Excellence In Education held in the Capital last week.
One of the major issues discussed at the event was how the private education sector has performed till now and what it needs to do. The keynote address was delivered by Ved Prakash, chairman, University Grants Commission, who reflected upon the contribution of private players in higher education.
“Currently, private education has a share of 45% in higher education. We need to ask ourselves whether we are able to achieve excellence in research and innovation. We need universities which focus on multi-disciplinarity and provide an outstanding learning and living environment. It’s the responsibility of institutions to direct the students to the right sectors and disciplines. There is also a need to revisit curricula and invest more in classroom processes. The three core challenges that we need to address are equity, excellence and access.”
Other speakers at the event were DK Bandyopadhyay, vice chancellor, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University; Raj S Dhankar, dean, Faculty of Management Studies, Delhi University; Rajeev Shorey, founder president and adviser, NIIT University; and Suneel Galgotia, chancellor, Galgotias University.
The debate was moderated by Usha Albuquerque, author and founder director, Careers Smart. The panellists stressed upon the need for a stronger industry-academia link, which will help the students channelise their academic knowledge into skills required at the workplace. Bandyopadhyay lamented the lack of response from the industry to jointly develop curricula. “We wrote to 100 industrial houses, but no one replied.” He also said that it was hard to get corporates on board the university’s academic council.
Shorey, on the other hand, spoke about his universitiy’s USP, which is research-based. “We have tried to fulfill our aim of being an industry-linked university by getting the best minds from companies such as IBM, Microsoft and General Motors. We also aim to be a research-based university.”
Suggesting the best ways to provide quality education to students, Dhankar said, “The idea should be to get the elite into higher education. These should be students who are gifted and talented. At present, the problem is that we are exposing each and every student to higher education, which is resulting in unemployment because students are unable to identify their potential and end up taking up jobs or joining disciplines for which they are not suited.”
The discussion was followed by a felicitation ceremony wherein Excellence Awards were presented to private institutions in and around Delhi NCR in categories such as engineering, management and mass communication.