Most Mumbaiites don’t think that our university system prepares the youth for the job market. They feel an upgraded curriculum will make students more employable.
In a survey of 10,374 Mumbaiites conducted by Hindustan Times and Ipsos Indica Research, 67 per cent felt the university curriculum should be modified to make students more employable. The survey also looked at other aspects of higher education, such as placement facilities, teacher-student ratios and hostel facilities. Only 36 per cent felt that the teacher-student ratio in colleges was appropriate.
“All employers train college students after hiring them. Twenty-five per cent of industry expenditure comprises training
for newly hired professionals. This shows that colleges do not make their students fully employable, which is why additional training is required,” said Snehalata Deshmukh, former vice-chancellor of Mumbai University. “While the university curriculum gives the student enough information, it is the soft skills that are lacking, especially in the traditional arts, science and commerce courses. Even entrepreneurship is not encouraged enough.”
In the Hindustan Times-Ipsos Indica survey, people were asked what their main concerns about the city were. They were then asked them to pick their top two concerns from the initial lists.
The larger pool of respondents was then divided into several smaller groups based on their top two concerns.
Typically, every respondent was part of two smaller groups, each of which corresponded to one concern. We then asked these smaller groups detailed questions about their respective concerns. Higher education was one of the top two concerns for 566 respondents.
Students, too, feel that they were not employable after graduation. “There are only a few colleges that provide soft skills and mock interview drills, but even that is optional. Placement training should be made compulsory,” said Aman Agarwal, a final-year commerce student. “Even the curriculum should be made more challenging, especially the theory subjects.”
The university is looking at an overhaul, but the process is arduous and time-consuming. They are working on a credit-based grading system and even a semester system. The University Grants Commission asked all universities to adopt this system two years ago, but Mumbai is still working on it. It has managed to implement it only at the post-graduate level.