Calicut University Vice-Chancellor Anwar Jahan Zuberi is relinquishing her office on February 25. The four-year tenure apparently gave her a gratifying experience.
“We could make many initiatives… and all people concerned provided cooperation and support. We got the support of the government, and decision making bodies like the Syndicate, the Senate and the Academic Council,” Prof. Zuberi said in an interview with The Hindu-EducationPlus.
She was the first woman Vice-Chancellor of Calicut University.
A change was evident in the style of functioning of the VC's office when she took charge from Syed Iqbal Hasnain four years ago. Prof. Zuberi bridled the university in a quiet and low-key fashion. “It was smooth sailing for me,” Prof. Zuberi said in her inimitable low voice. She will return to academics at Aligarh Muslim University, where she will continue for two more years.
According to her, the university campus should expand in the coming years. “As an affiliating university, we have great potential for expansion. We can emulate some good models like Pune University and Panjab University,” she said.
Calicut University saw some drastic reforms in academics in the last four years. According to her, it is not easy to restructure the entire curriculum.
Introduction of choice-based credit and semester system was, in fact, one of the biggest challenges she faced.
“But we could make it with the help of all people concerned. It involved total overhauling of the academics at all levels,” she said.
The results of the new system, according to Prof. Zuberi, will be visible only after some time. “You should keep up the good work. New proposals should be made and new projects should be brought in,” she advises the academia.
According to her, the university has got a lot more to do to ensure that quality higher education is doled out to wider sections of the society.
‘Widen the reach'
“We should do something tangible to raise the low gross enrolment ratio (GER) of Lakshadweep,” she said. Lakshadweep's GER, according to the UGC, has been way down below the national average of 12.5. Lakshadweep, where Calicut University has three colleges, needs some more institutions.
When the university proposed three new distance education centres, the Lakshadweep Administration has asked for three new colleges. Prof. Zuberi's successor will have to take a decision on it.