Are students ready for Meta University?

Are students ready for Meta University?

While addressing a conference on ‘One Globe 2012: Uniting Knowledge Communities’ organised by US-India Business Council in February this year, the HRD minister Kapil Sibal announced a launch of a network of Indian universities, which would form a Meta University. In short, this will allow students at undergraduate level to pick and choose courses across disciplines from collaborating institutions from the current academic session.

The move sought to hurriedly reinterpret the concept of a university, as not just a
traditional, physical space of learning but a repository of knowledge and information that can be delivered in multiple ways and can be accessed from anywhere and anytime. Come August, the HRD ministry plans to roll out pilot courses like ‘BTech in Humanities’ and ‘Masters in Mathematics Education’ for collaborating colleges. These will be offered to students fresh out of school, but those that Metrolife spoke to not aware of the initiative.

Kirti Chauhan, a I year student of B.Com (Hons) in Delhi University says, “I am not aware of the concept of Meta University. Besides, I am unclear as to what a course like B.Tech in Humanities means. So far as I know, there is no technology used in Humanities so will the new college or university teach Technology and Humanities both? If that be true then there is even more confusion because both subjects are poles apart and the student needs to have a basic understanding and background in both the streams.”

A point that dissenting voices of the faculty agree with.
A representative of the Democratic Teachers’ Front asks what career can a student pursue after a course like ‘Masters of Mathematics Education’. “Will he be able to become a senior secondary teacher if he follows a B.Sc with this Masters and does not do a B.Ed?. Will he be counted as equivalent to M.Ed? In what way is it superior to an undergraduate Maths degree followed by a B.Ed? Just how does it deserve the title of Masters?”   

There is more confusion in store for students who opt for the courses offered under the Meta University programme. If they do choose to go ahead, they will have to forego their main university seat. Vidhi Katyal, a I year student studying in South Campus says, “This is the first time that I have heard of Meta University. I haven’t read about it anywhere on the college notice boards nor has anyone mentioned it before this. However, I will never let go of my seat in B.Com (Hons) in DU for a pilot project that is still full of uncertainties in terms of placement because whether you believe it or not, the ultimate challenge is to acquire a job in the industry!”

Even those who have heard about the concept are reluctant to take a chance. Divya Nair, a fresher says, “I have read about Meta University but there is hardly any awareness in colleges. If there is something being initiated for the benefit of students then they should be made aware of the move. I have not heard my friends refer to or discuss it. If a student is interested then how is she/he supposed to proceed in the 

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