City engg colleges gear up to face competition from foreign varsities


Several autonomous institutions in the City, including RV College of Engineering and MS Ramaiah Institute of Technology have already started restructuring their syllabus based on international curriculum framework, which would enable students to pursue higher studies abroad with much difficulty.

The fact that the Indian bodies of accreditation like National Board of Accreditation (NBA) and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) are often not considered on par with international accreditors like the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), has prompted many colleges to resort to these activities.

According to the heads of institutes, though NBA has enlisted stringent measures for accreditation, there is still scope for improvement. “There are numerous benefits for students if there are collaborations between an Indian and a foreign university,” G K Ramaiah, Registrar, MS Ramaiah Institute of Technology (MSRIT), feels.

The academician also noted that institutes are forced to strengthen their curriculum and teaching practices to compete with top universities in the US or the UK.

Though India has entered into the prestigious Washington Accord, an international agreement between registering bodies for accrediting engineering programmes, credit transfer between universities is still not possible. Other reforms that colleges are considering is securing a certification from US bodies like ABET themselves. Currently, Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT) is the only college which enjoys this status.

Equally competent

“We want to compete with the best universities and our students are also equally competent. As an institute, it is our responsibility to ensure that their degree is valid anywhere in the world,” said B S Satyanarayana, Principal of RV College of Engineering.
To bag a certification from the body is an uphill task involving curriculum restructuring as well as grooming teachers. Several colleges have already restructured their curriculum following the model of international curriculum framework like (Conceive, Design, Implement, Operate (CDIO) formulated by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Several institutions are also likely to devise curriculum for courses. Currently, autonomous colleges have formulated a curriculum for Information Science.

These practices would, in turn, improve the image of the colleges among students as well as foreign universities. “Premier universities are concerned about brand protection. They assess the facilities, labs, teachers as well as accreditation status of the institute before entering into any kind of tie-up. So it’s important to maintain a good track record,” says the Registrar of a prominent engineering college.

“The restrictions imposed by parent universities like VTU, however, do not permit us to innovate,” he added.

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