The Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education in Tamil Nadu currently stands at 19 per cent, a one percentage point increase from the 11 plan period, said P. Palaniappan, Minister for Higher Education and pro-chancellor of the Tamil Nadu Teachers Education University at the fourth convocation held in the city on Monday.

A total of 69,282 candidates were awarded B. Ed, M. Ed, and M. Phil degrees. Of these, 87 candidates received the degrees in person from K. Rosaiah, Governor of Tamil Nadu, and Chancellor of the Tamil Nadu Teachers Education University.

D. N. Reddy, member, University Grants Commission and Chairman, Research Assessment Centre, Defence Research and Development Organisation, who delivered the convocation address noted that “There are 55 million youth in the age group of 18-23 years in India and only 18 per cent of them have the opportunity to pursue higher education.”

G. Visvanathan, Vice-Chancellor of the University, said that to help students prepare for the Teacher Eligibility Test conducted by the Teachers Recruitment Board, a ‘professional course for teacher proficiency’ has been introduced as part of the new syllabus this academic year. He said that in 2012-13, affiliation was given to 20 colleges of Education, and in 2013-14 to one B. Ed college. He said that the University has also established six new departments.

The University was established in 2008 and a total of 669 colleges of education are affiliated to it.