Cusat to set up centre of excellence

It will act as a think tank for policy making in the field of higher education

The Cochin University of Science and Technology (Cusat) has proposed a centre of excellence in ‘policy formulation in higher education’ to foster research and studies in tune with the rapid advancements in the sector.

It figures among the key initiatives to be rolled out by the varsity in its golden jubilee year. The decision comes close on the heels of the government decision to set up nearly 30 centres of excellence in various fields of study in State universities. The recommendation had found place in the State Budget presented by Finance Minister K.N. Balagopal in June.

“We are planning to set up a centre of excellence that will act as a think tank for policy making in the field of higher education, especially in the area of science and technology. With the government announcing its plans to make Kerala a knowledge economy, the centre could play a decisive role in policy formulation and research,” said K.N. Madhusoodanan, Vice Chancellor.

The idea to set up such a centre received a boost after the government decided to increase the ‘knowledge economy fund’ for skill promotion, technological transformation, and strengthening of the higher education system from ₹200 crore to ₹300 crore in the Budget. The Higher Education Department had also proposed setting up a high-power commission to examine the education system. The panel is expected to submit its report on the practical recommendations to reorganise the sector within three months.

Prof. Madhusoodanan suggested that the State needed a permanent centre for policy making and research in the higher education sector while considering the fact that all higher educational institutions required to be ‘future ready’. “The centre will come up with research and policies on changes to be made in science and technology and other related areas on a sustained mode,” he said. The university has also sought a ₹40-crore assistance from the government for expanding the scope of the proposed Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies and Innovation.

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