In a first, the government has introduced a ‘study abroad’ programme for postgraduate students and teachers of government arts and science colleges. Meritorious candidates from under-privileged backgrounds will be selected and sent abroad for a whole semester.
The announcement was made by minister for higher education P. Palaniappan at a meeting organised by the Tamil Nadu State Council for Higher Education (TANSCHE) on Tuesday. Colleges have been asked to make preparatory lists by month-end and the project is likely to kick-start next academic year.
“This will help students get international exposure and understand different cultures,” said Mr. Palaniappan. The move was initiated by TANSCHE and the British council. In the first batch, 25 students and five teachers are likely to benefit.
The 11 new arts and science colleges that were announced this year have begun the admission process, the minister said. Additionally, over 250 new courses will be initiated across colleges in the State.
The minister called for establishing university-business collaboration centres to bridge the gap between academia and industry. The focus will be to train not just the educated but also the uneducated population in the state and empower them with employable skills, said Dr. T.S. Sridhar, additional chief secretary, higher education.
Vice-chancellors of about 10 universities across the State participated in the meeting on Tuesday. Among the issues discussed was the system of choice-based credit system, establishing a ‘meta university’ and launching the national mission for teachers, as proposed by the Central government.
“There were also discussions on making the admission process transparent and introducing Tamil in all four semesters of undergraduate courses. We will meet frequently to come to a decision on the matter,” a V-C of a university said.