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World - Class University is Absent in India, stated U.S Scholar

World - Class University is Absent in India, stated U.S Scholar

Says country has to play catch - up in higher education.

'India has to invest for a competitive academic system'.

'Kerala needs to invest in research universities'.

India faces a challenge in creating a competitive higher education system equipped for the global academic environment and the demands of a modern economy, Philip G. Altbach, Director, Center for International Higher Education, Boston College, Massachusetts, USA, said here on Monday.

Delivering the foundation - day lecture of the Kerala State Higher Education Council, Dr. Altbach said India had to play a lot of catch - up in higher education if it was to make its presence felt in the global knowledge economy.

The country, he said, has to develop creative policies and invest more in creating an internationally competitive academic system.

"Economic crisis, mass enrolment in higher education and widespread acceptance of the private - good argument have led to a growing privatisation of higher education worldwide, deterioration in conditions of study, problems for the academic profession and general impoverishment of academe," he said.

"Because of a rapidly growing economy and the beginning of a phase of tremendous expansion of enrolment in higher education, India is among the nations most dramatically affected by emerging trends.

The strain and challenges faced by the sector are evident everywhere. India hardly appears on any of the global higher education rankings, while at the same time, overall enrolment rates are behind china and other middle income countries."

Dr. Altbach said India lacked significant high - quality research - based universities at the top, while at the same time, it had yet to provide access to those who demanded it at the bottom.

"The lack of selective high - quality, post - secondary education at the top is of special importance to India as the economy matures and even higher skills are required. None of India's universities is world class and none has internationally competitive facilities," he said.

Projected need

"The country needs perhaps 50 competitive research universities if it is to provide the highly educated personnel needed and the research output required for a modern economy. If higher education is to provide both high quality at the top and mass access at the bottom, India has to spend more on the sector."

"With 2.5 million students, countless scholars, degree programs and even universities moving around the globe, there is a pressing need for international cooperation and agreements.

But such agreements may sow the seeds of deep inequalities because the established academic powers in Europe and North America tend to dominate debate and policy," he said.

Dr. Altbach said the global trends in higher education had left the academic profession under heavy stress.

"The need to respond to the demands of mass enrolment has caused the average qualification for academics in many countries to decline. Part - time employment for post - secondary teachers is a growing trend.

In terms of accountability and assessment, the professoriate has lost much of its autonomy. The pendulum of authority in higher education has swung from the academics to managers and bureaucrats with significant impact on the university."

He said Kerala needed to invest in high - quality research universities if it was to compete with the best in the world.

K.N. Panikkar, Vice - Chairman of the higher education council, presided. Scholars and educationists from within the State and outside are participating in a two - day seminar on new directions in higher education.

World - Class University is Absent in India, stated U.S Scholar

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