Parties Vie for 84 million First-time Votes with Higher Education Pledges

Source: University World News

With the first phase of polling for general elections in the world’s largest democracy underway, India’s main political parties have released their manifestos promising much for higher education.

Changing Higher Education to Achieve Social Inclusion

Source: University World News

Higher education can be used for the social and economic mobility of underprivileged sections. This is achieved usually by providing admission to a set of students from these sections in universities and other institutes of higher education through the reservation of a quota of seats.

Is Millennial Skepticism Toward University in Sync with Reality?

Source: Ottawa Citizen via Academica

Millennials and senior experts might disagree on the value of a university education, suggests a recent article in the Ottawa Citizen. David Cook, a 21 year-old who recently quit a job stocking grocery shelves, told the Citizen that he is skeptical about whether the alleged “one-size-fits-all” model of university education can support students in finding out what they truly want to do with their lives. Yet retired University of Toronto economics professor David Foot argues that the increasing proportion of young people with postsecondary credentials has in fact made a bachelor’s degree “the new high school degree.”

Industries may soon get a role in higher education

Source: Mint via Pwc – EdLive

In an effort to boost research and employable workforce, India is preparing to involve industries in higher education. The Ministry for HRD expects this will solve issues related to land availability and finance. In return, the government will give industries independence and fast-track regulatory clearances for opening institutes that will focus on research specific to industry requirements.

Recently, the Ministry, in association with Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), invited 17 government departments and ministries and nearly 60 companies to a two-day conference in Delhi.“If we reach an agreement, then we don’t have to go to Parliament and it will be more of a ministry-level decision to engage industry in higher education,” said SS Mantha, Chairman, All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), the regulator in the higher education sector for technical institutes and a part of the HRD Ministry. Shalini Sharma, Head of the education wing, CII, said companies are open to the idea and want to know what the government is offering, “Through the conference we want to understand what the industry requires on the regulatory front. We will try to accommodate that.” Mantha added, “The government cannot do everything by its own. Once the industry participates, issues like land and finance will be taken care of easily.” He said that involving the industry will promote theme-based research and innovation during the 12th Five-Year Plan (2012-17). This will ‘stimulate discussion between industry players and ministries’ on setting up institutes that will focus on specific research and enter into twinning and collaborative programmes with other universities and research organisations.

Goa second best in higher education access

Source: The Times of India via PwC – EdLive

The state has 24.59 institutes of higher education available per lakh for its youth in the age group of 18 to 23. As per a University Grants Commission (UGC) report higher education might not be up to the desired level in Goa, but is definitely one of the best available in the country in terms of access.

Goa is among 14 states that have better access to higher education than the national average of 12.14. The report also reveals that Goa ranks second in the country after Chandigarh in terms of gross enrolment ratio with over 13% of its young population enrolled in colleges. The state government has facilitated accessibility of higher education and the concentration is not just city-based. In terms of money too, accessibility is good. The fee structure has been kept at an affordable level and various scholarships, interest free loans and schemes to SC and ST are provided.