Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Coaching centres need monitoring: survey
Students feel they are fleeced

TO make the country’s higher education sector globally competitive, a majority of students, parents and educators have favoured ushering in a slew of reforms like stricter monitoring for institutes in the sector and simplifying current accreditation policies.

Pvt institutes draw flak

As many as 70 per cent students of private Higher Education Institutes (HEI) have sought government intervention in monitoring and accreditation of such institutes, according to a recent survey by industry chamber FICCI.

The survey interviewed 4,000 stakeholders including students, parents, faculty, recruiters and promoters across 11 cities countrywide.

Respondents were of the view that since the government is not effectively monitoring private higher education institutes, they do not meet adequate quality standards.

Fiftyfive per cent students interviewed said they felt such institutions charged exorbitant fees and 50 per cent said they selected courses based on employment potential, which, the report said, reflected a “negative impact on the research contributions at the HEIs”.

Single-window system sought

Meanwhile, promoters of such institutes supported a single-window approval system which, they said, would remove prevalant confusion due to multiplicity of regulating agencies such as the UGC, AICTE, MCI etc.

Reforms must for quality courses

“The growth of the Indian higher education sector has increasingly shown a trend towards increasing private sector participation in India.

With outlay of limited government funding mostly targeted to develop a few institutions of excellence, the role of the private sector would only increase in the years to come,” the survey said.

However, it pointed out that “unregulated” privatisation of higher education sector was perhaps “not a desirable solution” in the absence of legislations or concrete government measures to ensure maintenance of proper quality and standards.

The survey ‘Developing an Understanding of Private Higher Education in India : A stakeholder perspective’ called for reforms in the higher education sector. This was imperative to make it globally competitive in the face of challenges of knowledge economy and globalisation. — PTI