Wednesday, September 12, 2012

My top 10 Ideas to reform Higher Education

1. Abolish 3 year Bachelor's degrees. Make them 4 year degrees with mandatory projects, electives and internship.

2. Abolish poly-technique institutes and instead allow colleges to offer 2 year diplomas. Abolish ITIs and bring those kids into vocational streams in the 10+2 system.

3. Prevent colleges from offering Master's programs. Instead only let universities (not even the mostly single stream institutes like IITs) offer Master's and Doctoral degrees. Ensure universities only employ Professors/Lecturers with doctoral degrees. Make thesis mandatory in Master's programs.

4. Hand over all govt run, single stream institutes like IITs, IISc, NITs, IIITs, AIIMS, JIPMER, NIMHANS etc to CSIR. Make admission to these institutes conditional on joining govt research programs like DRDO, ISRO, CDAC etc or 2 years government service.

5. Expand the Central University system. Let private universities flourish. A university by definition must have programs in science, engineering, arts, medicine, management and law.

6. Abolish affiliate universities. Let state level College Education Boards conduct exams and offer bachelor's degrees and diplomas in the name of the board and the respective college.

7. Make standards 9-12 part of High School. Let students continue to the next class, even if they fail one or more courses. This will help decrease dropout rates. Let the grades be based on 4 year final exam aggregate performance. Not just 10th and 12th.

8. Encourage 4 year B.Ed, 2 year M.Ed programs and Diplomas in education and research. Make IIMs offer PG diplomas in Education. Privatise IIMs and NLS or merge them with a Central University each.

9. Encourage private school boards. CBSE and state boards should compete with a private ICSE and new commercial boards (say run by ETS, NIIT).

10. Abolish minority educational institutions. Abolish all kinds of reservations in private educational institutions at all levels.


Jaikumar Ganesh said...

I think you missed an important one - abolish entrance exams where admission is based only on the performance in the exams

Arun said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Arun said...

Damn I wrote a big comment and deleted it by mistake. Too lazy to type out again.
Overall a good list, even if some of them are implemented we would be much better off.

Balaji Chitra Ganesan said...

Arun's deleted comment:

While I don't necessarily agree with all of them, but even if some of the items in list is implemented, we could see lots of positive changes. One thing that would be needed as well is changing the content of the syllabus to be more practical and flexible. And testing should be more application/common sense oriented, rather than preparation oriented. More self learning should be encouraged. With youtube lectures, wikipedia etc most of learning at the UG level can be made by students themselves anyway.
Class room hours should be reduced to not exceed 5-6 hours a day and 20-30 hours a week. After a tiring day at school/college where what you really learn is under question, there is no time for study or play.

Balaji Chitra Ganesan said...

yes, i agree. shorter class hours will help. i think many private schools are already doing this.