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Addressing Systemic Issues in Higher Education

Synopsis: There are systemic issues in higher education. They need to be addressed to strengthen our education system.

Background

  • According to the recently released QS World University Rankings, India has 12 universities and institutions in the top-100 in particular subjects.
  • Though it is a better achievement compared to the previous years. Still, there is room for improvement.
  • We need to address the systemic issues to further strengthen our education system.

Why are the systemic issues impacting quality in higher education?

There are many systemic issues which needs to be addressed in higher education. For example,

  • First, lack of relevant career opportunities diminishes the appeal of academic education among students. For example, if studying hard and critical thinking doesn’t lead to career improvement, students tend to lose academic ambition.
  • Second, the lack of relevance of the core syllabus decreases students’ interest in higher education. For example, students joining IIT’s initially, work hard to secure admission, but then lose motivation owing to a lack of relevance in the actual syllabus.
  • Third, lack of High-quality jobs. In India, only a few jobs exist after higher education. The Majority of jobs require lower skills and pay poorly. In such a system the Lower-ranked colleges don’t find any motivation to improve themselves.
  • Fourth, prioritising top colleges and neglect of Low ranked colleges. For example, top colleges in India enjoy much state-sponsored support. They attract the best faculty and students. This makes it further difficult for low ranked colleges to make any improvement.

What needs to be done?

For the mediocre college to improve, its students must first see value in a better education. It requires system-wide growth in opportunity. To achieve this the relevant stakeholders must do the following;

  1. First, policymakers, they need to promote employment led -growth oriented policies to create enough jobs for 650 million Indian youths under age 25.
  2. Second, industry, they should focus on developing indigenous technologies. It will help in improving our Higher Education standards.
  3. Third, teachers, standard of teaching will improve standards of the institutions and create more competitive students.
  4. Fourth, Students, they need to demand for better education. Only then institutions will respond to their needs.
  5. Finally, students will demand better education only when the quality education is valued by society. And vice versa, it will be valued by society only when the imparted quality education is applied towards the benefits of the society.

We must teach students not only our subjects, but also how to think about both existing applications and future ones. Students must aim to relate their learning to society.

 

Source: Indian Express

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