UGC bats for reforms in teaching

UGC bats for reforms in teaching

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has proposed setting up of at least 20 faculty development centres at select universities in the twelfth five year plan to improve the quality of teaching in higher education institutions across the country.

Such centres should have mandate to offer discipline wise, specific refresher programmes and information and communication technology-linked, teaching-learning-research training programmes.

The identification of universities for establishing such centres should be done taking into consideration their infrastructure and past records, the higher education regulator has suggested in its proposal to the Human Resource Development Ministry.

Besides this, the academic strength of such university should also be taken into consideration for setting up a faculty development centre.

“For example, refresher courses in life sciences should be conducted in only those universities which have a strong base in life sciences. A similar pattern can be adopted for other disciplines,” the UGC underlined.

The commission has also recommended bringing reforms in the academic staff college (ASC) system in order to convert it into faculty talent promotion system. Restructured professional development activities could be facilitated by converting the ASCs as faculty development centres.

At present, the role of the 66 ASCs, established in 1985 across the country, is to offer two types of programmes—refresher courses and orientation programmes—which are mandatory for all assistant professors or lecturers.

Over 3.5 lakh teachers have already undergone the ASC programmes so far.
“Though the positive effect of the impact of the ASC programme on the quality of teaching has been felt, nonetheless there has been a feeling that the system could be reviewed for better results, keeping in view the enormous expansion envisaged in the country and also the changing demands of teaching and research,” the commission underlined.

The proposed faculty development initiatives at ASCs could include areas like entry level orientation, curriculum development, teaching and learning, research and innovation, engagement with social concerns and leadership development.