Assess academic quality and infrastructure readiness: CM
The government has mooted creation of institutional development plans to rectify deficiencies in higher educational institutions and prepare three-year roadmaps for development programmes.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who announced the plan while inaugurating a two-day workshop on ‘Empowering higher education’ here on Tuesday, stressed the need to assess academic quality and infrastructure readiness to identify lacunae and growth opportunities.
The workshop was organised jointly by the Higher Education Department and the Kerala State Higher Education Council (KSHEC).
Highlighting the role of the State Assessment and Accreditation Centre (SAAC), he urged each institution to go in for a thorough assessment. The assessment must be undertaken in accordance with the parameters adopted by SAAC along with those laid down for the All Kerala Higher Education Survey and the National Institute Ranking Framework system.
The Chief Minister said top-performing engineering colleges would soon be upgraded as institutions of technological excellence. He stressed the need for technical institutions to enhance the quality of each course to obtain National Board of Accreditation (NBA) accreditations.
Urging higher education institutions to “dream big”, Mr. Vijayan called for fundamental changes to improve academic quality and infrastructure. All universities must strive to achieve a minimum National Assessment and Accreditation Council score of 3.5.
Chairing the inaugural session, Higher Education Minister R. Bindu said the government did not intend to play into the hands of neo-liberalism by supplying a cheap labour force but intended to create industry linkages in order to upskill the youth. She advocated the establishment of production centres and incubation units under each institution to enable students gather practical knowledge and also earn while learning.
Expressing the State’s inability in turning its back on the National Education Policy 2020, Dr. Bindu said the reforms must be implemented keeping its “regressive” proposals at bay.
State Planning Board Vice Chairman V.K. Ramachandran, Chief Secretary V.P. Joy, Chief Minister’s Chief Principal Secretary K.M. Abraham, KSHEC Vice Chairman Rajan Gurukkal, Additional Chief Secretary (Higher Education) V. Venu, and KSHEC member-secretary Rajan Varughese spoke.
Vice Chancellors, senior officials of universities, and academics participated in six parallel thematic sessions. The recommendations will be compiled to formulate an action plan for various reforms in the higher education sector on Wednesday.
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