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Providing quality education at a higher level is the need of an hour. Much emphasis has been given to the basic education in the recent past, but providing quality education at a higher level has received ignorance.
Quality dimensions seem to have two implications i.e functionality of the output and meeting the basic standards. Hence, the quality of a higher education system may be seen from the point of view of norms and standards, which may evolve depending on the need of an hour. Sustaining quality in teacher input like: curriculum design and development; evaluation of learners performance and progress vis-à-vis curriculum evaluation and quality management practices become crucial. Therefore, sharing of the experiences among institutions on quality issues may generate ideas for evolving norms and strategies for their quality assurance of management processes, curricular inputs and practices and the evaluation system as well.
Of late, various developments have been witnessed relating to quality assurance mainly through intervention of information and communication technologies in education, like networking of open learning system with traditional Universities interdisciplinary interactions at intra-institutional and inter-institutional level, incorporating self financing in their financial management, creation of different statutory and regulatory bodies and national level.
Curriculum Planning and management should be studied in the perspective of knowledge management.
Integrated approach by involving experts from different fields with major focus on sharing of experiences. Multidisciplinary curriculum must be developed with a view to cater to the needs and fulfillment of expectations of learners, teachers, parents, employers and society in general.
Decentralization must be encouraged with a broad frame work of University system.
Every University must have its own curriculum. Context, specificity and inquiry oriented experience must be reflected in the curriculum.
Curriculum construction should transact in an authentic and real environment.
Knowledge and skills must be developed with a view to provide relevance and meaningfulness.
Learner’s involvement must be encouraged to link previous experience with present learning.
Teachers should plan mentors of guiding learners to learn instead of directing them.
Learners must have ample scope of formulate their own queries and have multiple interpretations of knowledge through self search and experimental learning.
Assessment and Accreditation
The higher education system of India needs to be expanded to a much greater scale to serve to the needs of Indian youth.
Majority of the higher education institutes do not come anywhere near the level of average institutions of higher education in the advanced countries. This vast gap in standards and facilities has been a cause of constant anxiety and concern to the policy makers.
The issue of accessibility of quality higher education needs to be addressed in the light of vast economic and social disparities, cultural and linguistic diversities together with the aspirations and capacities of potential students. The accessibility of quality higher education needs to be expanded from elitist to mass education. This issue has significant implications in the sense that it demands redefinitions of the aims of higher education.
Accessibility and quality up gradation are inseparable dimensions of higher education. Both should be emphasized equally.
The quantitative expansion of higher education for a sub continental size country is of paramount importance to mitigate disparities across regions, gender and social strata in education.
Along with quantitative expansion improving quality of higher education is equally important. Emphasis on quality parameter becomes all the more necessary in the light of mushrooming of private institutions with opening up of Indian economy.
Setting up of NAAC has sent the right and positive signals for generating and promoting awareness of urgent need of quality up gradation of Colleges and Universities.
Quality upgradation is not a one time phenomenon. In view of this, post accreditation complacency must be arrested by evolving quality assurance mechanism for self regulation. The setting up of Internal Quality assurance cell is on such.
Effectiveness of quality up gradation in higher education largely depends on quality of primary and secondary education. Institutional mechanism on patterns of NAAC may be set up at these levels.
Periodic assessment should be conducted.
Workshops/ Seminars/ Conferences and orientations/ Refresher courses should be organized during lean periods in institutional academic work so as not to upset the teaching schedule.
More and wide parameters should be identified for assessing the quality of institutions.
Assessment and accreditation work should be moved further to the level of teaching and research departments within Universities/ Colleges.
While restructuring the syllabi and courses efforts should be made to develop an optimal combination of acquisition of theoretical and practical skills.
In restructuring of syllabi, all stakeholders such as students, teachers and users of services should be involved.
Examination reforms for regular and continuous assessment of student’s performance should be made.
The critical review of activities of higher educational institutions as well as their budgets needs to be conducted to Phase out obsolete activities.
Methods of Up gradation
In the higher education system goal of providing quality can be achieved only by the realization of our internal and imperishable being. Our aim in higher educational system at promoting environmental protection, universal peace and internal co-operation, harmony and unity in external space can best be realized through internal purification and perfection. Our education system Endeavour to promote harmonious relationship between both the inner and outer dimensions of the individual environment and the cosmos.
Our objective in higher education in not only to promote equality and social justice but also to provide the right kind of work ethos, professional expertise and leadership in all work of life.
Above all our endeavor is to foster among teachers and students and through them in society generally integral development of various inherent in physical emotional, rational, aesthetic, ethical and spiritual education.
For the higher education such as in technical education we arrange major programmes which are related to review and renewal of the curriculum for education and training of engineer and technicians, modernization of the laborites and workshops and removal of obsolescence and establishment of community polytechnics.
For the higher education UGC is established and in addition the UGC has established NAAC to carry out periodical assessment of universities and colleges in the country. For the higher education Open University system such as IGNOU and Kota distance education council has been established so that the higher education gets much simpler and convenient.
For the higher education a scheme of career orientation to education has also been launched and for this a number of institutions have introduced career oriented courses in different subjects. For this open learning systems and distance education courses have also contributed significantly to the diversification of courses so that the field of professional stress has come to laid on new areas of studies which have direct relevant to new industry. For the higher education in the field of diversification some selected committees or commission has also launched a TV programme for general awareness in natural science, social science and arts.
For the higher education there are number of measures have been taken for quality improvement. These include the development of infrastructure, curriculum, human resource and research.
In the higher education system we have to reform the examination system. There is also a programme for reform in the examination system and various experiments have been conducted to ensure that the students are freed from the burden of annual examination and are encouraged to continue to study throughout the entire period of study.
Government should make a firm commitment to higher education institutes to make efforts to raise their own resources by raising the fee level, encouraging private donation and by generating revenue through consultancy and other activities.
By the higher education we have to develop the national and social education development. The education should have:
Address the problems of national development particularly issues concerning self finance, economic growth, employment and social and national integration.
Should relate to the life, needs and aspirations of the people and held improve the productivity.
Emphasis should be on work experience, vocational studies and improvement in scientific and technological education and research.
Inculcate social, moral and spiritual values in the students and thereby society.
Role of NGO in education
A non-governmental organization (NGO) is a legally constituted organization created by natural or legal persons that operates independently from any government and a term usually used by governments to refer to entities that have no government status. In the cases in which NGOs are funded totally or partially by governments, the NGO maintains its non-governmental status by excluding government representatives from membership in the organization. The term is usually applied only to organizations that pursue some wider social aim that has political aspects, but that are not overtly political organizations such as political parties. Unlike the term “intergovernmental organization, the term “non-governmental organization” has no generally agreed legal definition. In many jurisdictions, these types of organization are called “civil society organizations” or referred to by other names.
NGO plays a very vital role in growth of higher education particular in the present scenario of competitive world. There should be partnership between higher educational bodies and NGO in various activities such as:
- NGO conduct orientation programmes for training of new teacher and also refresher courses in various disciplines for in-service teachers to enable them update their knowledge by some selected members of NGO.
- NGO helps to enrich the quality of higher education, a country wide classroom programme was launched.
- In higher education programme NGO also helps in some schemes such as a special films on various subjects are prepared and telecast for the benefit of students and teachers.
- For the higher education NGO also set up to produce special films and a large numbers of video tapes are being product for transmission on the national T.V. network.
- NGO helps participating in and contributing to major debates concerning the direction and future of society is seen as a major task.
- NGO helps to improve productivity by emphasis-sing work experience vocational, improvements in scientific and technological education and research and in many other wide areas.
Public – Private Partnership (PPP) on Higher Education in India
What is PPP?
Public-private partnership (PPP) describes a government service or private business venture which is funded and operated through a partnership of government and one or more private sector companies PPP involves a contract between a public-sector authority and a private party, in which the private party provides a public service or project and assumes substantial financial, technical and operational risk in the project.
Need for PPP’s
The provision of schooling is largely provided and financed by governments. However, due to unmet demand for education coupled with shrinking government budgets, the public sector is developing innovative partnerships with the private sector. Increased private investment is thus imperative to expand infrastructure and provide greater access to quality higher education in India. E&Y – FICCI report emphasizes that PPPs (Public Private Partnership) could be an effective mechanism for attracting much needed private sector investment in the Indian Higher education system without diluting the regulatory oversight of the Government and other regulators
Common Misconceptions about PPP’s
- Public private partnerships are the same as privatization
- By entering into a public private partnership, public sector loses control over the provision of services
- Public private partnerships apply only to infrastructure projects
- The principal reason for government entering into public private partnerships is to avoid debt
- Public sector employee will lose under public private partnerships The cost of service will increase to pay for the private partner’s profit
- There are only two partners in a public private partnership
India’s enrollment figures in higher education remain abysmally low at a mere 11 % compared to that of the US and Canada, where over 60 % of college-age students access higher education, highlighting that public-private partnerships are critical for wooing investment in India’s higher education system.
This shortfall in the number of young who are eligible for higher education and the existing infrastructure presents India’s unique challenge, in terms of the sheer scale of its population. India has over 400 universities and more than 20,000 colleges with an enrollment of 14 million students, yet it is grossly inadequate.
Partnership Formats in Education
This study while covering the concept of public-private partnerships, presents the basic modes of partnerships that can exist between the government and the private sector in the field of education.
PPPs involve the government and private players to work hand-in-hand for providing public infrastructure and other services, while jointly sharing the risks, rewards, investments and responsibility associated with the activity. Partnerships are established for varied reasons including construction, financing, design and maintenance of public infrastructure.
PPP in social sectors such as health and education are sometimes referred to as Public-Social Private Partnership (PSPP). A number of PPP models can exist that range from simple management contracts to BOOT formats. These formats vary in the kind of benefits they yield, few of such formats are
- Public Private Financing of Higher Education
- Science / Research Parks
- University owned companies
The research focus is on Public-Private financing of higher education. Let us see this through couple of cases as mentioned below
The Melaka-Manipal Medical College – PPP
- Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) India entered into an agreement with Joint Venture Medical College Corporation (JVMC) Malaysia to start a private medical college in Malaysia. The key objective was to provide additional doctors for Malaysia and offer opportunities for students in the region to study medicine at a cheaper cost than in the West.
- The agreement led to partnership between the State Government of Melaka, the Manipal Group and members of Indian Diaspora in Malaysia.
- The local government provided teaching staff, supervisory services along with financial assistance to students. It also allowed use of local government hospitals for training and teaching purposes
- On the other hand, the private partners contributed to the infrastructure for the Melaka campus with a provision of patient care service and training of staff in the health centers. The private partners also contributed by partially conducting the program in their India campus, as there was a shortage of faculty for basic sciences in Malaysia
- Creation of the new college was a step in the direction of increasing the doctor : population ratio. It also led to decreased financial burden for the government as infrastructure costs were borne by the college.
- The private partners on the other hand, gained an opportunity to establish a college leading to increased overseas exposure, establishment of global reputation and brand name.
Funding Through Endowments
- In November 2008, Indian School of Business (ISB) signed an agreement with the Government of Punjab (GOP) to set up its second campus in India at the Knowledge City, Mohali.
- The cost of the project is INR 3000 million. To fund the project, ISB succeeded in getting four endowments of INR 500 million each from its founder supporters – the Bharti Group, the Max Group, the Hero Group and the Punj Lloyd Group.
- In return for the endowments, ISB would set up four specialist centers for excellence named after its founder supporters,
- Max India Institute of Healthcare Management
- Bharti Institute of Public Policy
- BML Munjal Institute of Manufacturing and Operation Excellence
- Punj Lloyd Institute of Physical Infrastructure Management
- These centers of excellence would promote research in their specific fields as well as provide specialisation options for management students
- For ISB, success in raising a large part of its project costs through endowments enabled achievement of its growth plans. ISB also recieved commitments from its supporters to provide internships and recruit students from this campus
- On the other hand, the founder supporters were able to further research in areas of interest to them, as well as attract more management students to focus and specialize in these areas. They also furthered the cause of improving the quality of education in their home state by attracting a leading management institution
- Encourage private sector funding of higher education
- Introduce innovative PPP models which encourage high quality players from the private sector to invest more in the higher education sector
- Provide tax incentives and simplify norms to attract private investments
- Enhance impact of Government funding
- Introduce a mechanism of performance based funding by the Government
- Encourage HEIs to move towards higher self generation of funds to meet operational expenses, so that Government funds are spent increasing on capacity expansion and quality improvement
- Rationalize tuition fee and build strong financing structures
- Rationalize tuition fee structures to internationally accepted levels (~25% of income) which would enable self sustenance of HEIs and reduce strain on public funding
- Differential pricing may be accorded for students belonging to economically weaker sections
- Create robust financing system to support rationalized fee structure through encouragement of scholarships (public and industry sponsored) and increasing student loans coverage through special schemes
- Support raising of revenue through alternate sources
- Encourage higher education institutes to identify and develop innovative sources of income other than fees and grants, such as monetization of IP (research patents, licenses), organizing seminars/ public events, consulting etc. For this purpose, set out model practices, incentivize faculty through revenue sharing, and institutes through higher grants for better performance on these factors
- Develop supportive guidelines and norms to increase utilization of existing assets/land banks of higher education institutes Encourage industrial houses/individuals to give endowments to both public and private HEIs, by providing a 125% weighted tax deduction to all endowments to recognized universities, preferential allotment of seats etc.
- Improve management of finances at HEIs
- Support HEIs to obtain access to best in breed finance professionals
- Conduct seminars and short term courses to share best practices in management of operations at HEIs in order to improve utilization of available finances
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