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'Higher education sector faces leadership crunch'

New Delhi: Feb 14, 2013 DHNS 1:21 IST

Academics not seen as viable career option: Survey

The higher education sector is facing shortage of capable leaders, says a survey on ‘The Leadership Challenges Faced by the Indian Higher Education System’. According to 92 per cent of respondents, this trend is expected to continue till 2020.

Lack of adequate mentoring, academic leadership, guidance and training (60 per cent), low salary (50 per cent) and the general impression about academics not as a popular career choice, are the reasons cited for the shortage.

Education Promotion Society for India — a national body of over 500 higher education institutions in collaboration with a management portal took up the survey. The sample size was 111 respondents which included chancellors, vice chancellors (VCs), deans, principals and other academicians.

The survey was taken up for two reasons.
President had recently called a meeting of ministry of human resource development and VCs of 40 central universities and urged them to fill the leadership and faculty positions on priority.

Secondly, the knowledge commission had proposed a mechanism for developing educational leader, which is yet to be implemented, to meet serious concerns of education and research community of the country, the survey reports stated.
Almost 80 per cent of the respondents said there is a serious gap between the existing pool and the future needs.

The survey also examined the reasons due to which Indian higher education institutes are unable to attract Indian academicians abroad with proven academic background and leadership skills.

“Three-fourths of the respondents blamed the highly bureaucratic Indian system while more than half felt that a siloed approach – an attitude where a department or a group do not want to share information and knowledge with the other department of the same company – of stakeholders to be another key reason,” stated the report.

Other reasons cited by the respondents were low brand values of India as a potential destination for well known academicians, low or superficial orientation to research and development, poor compensation and incentives, high levels of corruption are the other reasons cited by the respondents.

“It is safe to assume that the respondents have expressed their perceptions based on developments in last one decade,” said the report.

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