01-09-2010

Higher Education: What’s new…

Publication: The Times Of India Jaipur;Date: Sep 1, 2010;Section: Education Times;Page: 21

Higher Education: What’s new… THE VICE-CHANCELLOR OF AMITY UNIVERSITY, RAJASTHAN, PROF RAJ SINGH SAYS THAT INCREASING JOB OPPORTUNITIES ACROSS INDUSTRIES HAVE CREATED A DEMAND FOR NEW PROFESSIONS, SKILLSETS, COURSES AND THEREFORE NEW INSTITUTIONS
Prof Raj Singh Higher education in India has witnessed a paradigm shift over the last two decades. Education entrepreneurs, teachers, media planners, policy makers, students, parents and recruiters agree on the change from pre-1990s when education aimed at developing life skills, to current scenario when professional qualification is seen as a passport to lucrative job. Recent global economic crisis and shrinking job market have subjected this view to greater scrutiny than ever before. Increasing job opportunities across industries have created demand for new professions, skill-sets, courses and therefore new institutions. Public institutions could not respond to this demand due to lack of resources and privately funded institutions entered into the stream and offered these courses. But soon there was deterioration in quality due to poor regulatory framework and predominance of License Raj. This view is vindicated by recent corruption charges against most of the regulatory bodies. During mid-1990s recruiters indicated that they wanted graduates able to work on-the-job from day one. This expectation made institutions focus on making students street-smart rather than professionals with depth. Private institutions charging high fees needed to justify it. Promise of job became one such justification which appealed to students and parents. Companies are offering jobs to students before completion of the course expecting them to join immediately. Institutions permit this due to pressure of fulfilling their promise. Last 5-7 years exposed this mismatch between what client organizations expected and what graduates actually possessed. Universities and institutions became less relevant and recruiters moved away from them. The institutions which were proactive realized this gap and did not allow it to happen.

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