Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said that the State required centres of excellence focussing on interdisciplinary research and niche courses aimed at improving the research and job potential of the aspirants in the higher educational sector.
“We need to introspect on why the State lagged behind in scaling up progress in the higher education sector. The universities and other higher educational institutions have to step up academic and infra facilities by getting elevated into centres of excellence,” he said at the CM@Campus programme held at the Cochin University of Science and Technology on Monday.
Urging the Vice Chancellors to interact with the heads of industry, Mr. Vijayan recalled that a multi-national company failed to find candidates suitable to its needs when it held interviews among the students in the State.
“We have to equip them in tune with the requirements of the industry. The mutual interactions would help in identifying it and design courses in accordance with their needs. This would enhance the job potential of our students,” he said.
The Chief Minister said that the government had initiated various programmes to support improved research in the fields of basic sciences and social science. “But we need to step up the quality of the courses to attract students from other States to take up such programmes. The libraries in higher educational institutions have to offer international journals and related resources to the student community,” he said.
On the proposed changes in the higher education sector, Mr. Vijayan said that the centres of excellence recommended in the State Budget would take up interdisciplinary learning and research initiatives. “These centres will invite scholars from across the world and also focus on improving the number of qualified research professionals and faculty members,” he said.
About 200 students from five universities that included Cochin University of Science and Technology, APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University, Kerala University of Health Sciences, National University of Advanced Legal Studies, and Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, attended the programme. K. T. Jaleel, Minister for Higher Education, presided.