'If I was the Vice Chancellor...'

WISHFUL THINKING:

'If I was the Vice Chancellor...'

In spite of Kapil Sibal’s active involvement, there is apparently considerable scepticism about the declarations of intent and grand pronouncements made by governments at both the Centre and State levels, which students feel are seldom implemented.

Several pressing concerns thrown up by the Gen Next ranged from infrastructure difficulties to rigidity in course structures and several others. So Metrolife spoke to some students about their gameplan if they were in a position to actually make decisions and bring about sweeping reforms.

Tara Mathias, a student says, “If I were Vice Chancellor of a university, I would insist that colleges pay less attention to dress codes and more attention to updating the sadly obsolete syllabus that is prescribed by the University Grants Commission. Especially government-run arts, science and commerce colleges. Universities today need to be hubs of learning and research but many of them are reduced to mere examination-conducting bodies! Higher education should combine formal and non formal systems and allow leeway in mobility between colleges, institutions and courses.”

Krishan, a student of commerce, feels too much importance is given to caste and creed during admissions and not enough to merit. “A lot more investment needs to be done in education so that talent is recognised and brought out among students irrespective of backgrounds,” he feels. Ramya, a first year degree student, wishes academic learning would be combined with on-the-job training through a closely integrated system which prepares a student to become quickly productive in the workplace. “It is also important that teachers are suitably paid, equipped and motivated for the central role that they are expected to play in a meaningful educational system,” she says.

“If I was Vice Chancellor of Bangalore University, there are two things that I would change immediately. Firstly, Bangalore is one of the few cities in India which does not offer honours programmes for B Sc or B A. These programmes would really add value to the course, and the first thing I would do is include them. Secondly, I would ensure that there was a streamlined entrance exam for all the colleges instead of the series of exams that happen now. Let’s face it — the entrance exam scenario needs some serious revamping and that should be the first order of business,” says Kavya Srinivasan, who is all set to move to IIT-Madras to pursue the humanities course of her choice.

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