Foundation for world class university being laid now: Sibal

For a new foundation- kapil Sibal (AP)

"Building a world-class university is far more than a construction project. It is building a community of knowledge, far more than its building campus," Richard C Levin, president of Yale University, said at the FICCI Higher Education Summit, inaugurated by Sibal.

He also said that a world-class varsity is composed of world-class faculty and is a centre for new knowledge. The Yale university president was of the view that a great research university is not built using bricks and mortar of its campus, but by students and scholars, who inhabit it and the ideas they share.

"The university is composed of many things: a distinguished and engaged faculty, broad library and museum collections, state-of-art laboratories and computer resources and a wide range of extra-curricular, cultural and athletic activities, to name a few essential components," he said.

Responding to Levin's views, union HRD Sibal said it takes years for an institute to attain world class standards, but the beginning has to be made now.

"Can we build a world class university by 2020. No. Harvard University was started in 1636. It takes years. But, can we set the foundation for a world class university? Yes," Sibal said.

Levin said that a world class university contributes to the world through research, education and institutional citizenship. Great universities prepare the next generation of leaders by giving them proper education Levin said and added that the world-class universities also instill in the students social responsibility and an appreciation of service to the community.

"The job of world class universities is to teach young people how to think not what to think," the president of Yale University said . "But building world-class university is a herculean task. It has never been done before in one concerted effort, by one country. And it requires more than money."

Levin's views assume significance in the backdrop of the Centre's effort to set up 14 innovation universities of world class standard during the 11th Plan.

Sibal visited some of the leading universities in the US, including Harvard, Yale and MIT, last week and sought collaboration with them in this drive.

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