New changes to affect higher education: DUTA

Delhi University Teachers’ Association’s has slammed the proposed changes to be implemented soon in the university, saying they will have a negative impact on governnemnt’s higher education policies.

The changes include four-year graduation, BTech in Humanities with an option to pick and choose subjects and the Meta University project which is scheduled to start this July where students can choose courses from DU, Jamia Milia Islamia, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and Jawaharlal Nehru University and make a degree for themselves.
In a `report’ released on Tuesday, DUTA termed the changes as commodification of the higher education system.

“In the Meta University project no information has been given about the postgraduate courses. The teaching community has been ignored as these proposals weren’t even discussed with the teachers before being announced in the media,” said a DUTA member.

The report said no detailed vision paper on the proposed major overhauling of the existing system of undergraduate and postgraduate teaching at the university and the new academic programmes has come out till date.

DUTA said no concept papers have been discussed in the academic council. They have neither been circulated in the departments and colleges, nor are they available on the varsity website.

“The level of higher education is generally measured by its enrolment ratio. The gross enrolment ratio (GER) measures the access level by taking the ratio of persons in all age group between 18-23 years enrolled in various programmes. India GER was 12.6 per cent in higher education (in 2007),” said the report.

The US has 81 per cent, the UK has 54 per cent, Japan 49 per cent , Malaysia  27 per cent and China  23 per cent gross enrolment ratio .

The DUTA document claimed that changes in higher education structure will affect marginalised sections of the society the most. Especially women, Dalits and the economically underprivileged, are being rendered even more vulnerable than before, it said.

“Their access to socio-economic transformation through quality and inexpensive education is being put under a cloud of doubt,” said the report.

It added that the six education bills pending in Rajya Sabha will open doors for private players in the higher education scenario in state and Central universities, subsequently making it costly and inaccessible for many.

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