TAMIL NADU

Academics to offer inputs on autonomy in higher education

CHENNAI, NOV. 29. The Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) will conduct a two-day workshop to elicit the views of various academic groups on enhancing academic and financial autonomy for higher educational institutions.

Vice-chancellors, Secretaries and Directors of Higher Education, heads of autonomous colleges and teacher groups will participate in workshop to be held on Tuesday and Wednesday at the University of Madras.

The CABE, which was reconstituted in July 2004, has set up a committee on autonomy of higher education under the chairmanship of the West Bengal Minister for Education, Kanti Biswas.

Focus on quality

The Chennai workshop will seek to address the issue of poor quality of teaching and research in higher education, which is attributed to external control and regulation, according to a background note for the workshop.

The workshop is likely to discuss the concept of autonomy and accountability, measures to synthesise these concepts so that they become a tool of governance, the role of academicians, administrators, and students to enhance autonomy and accountability, as also the role of the Government and other agencies.

It would also discuss how Indian institutions may be enabled to shoulder both global and local responsibility and how they might use their energy for engagements with society; how the institutions could exchange expertise both within and outside the country without soliciting the concurrence of the State or statutory bodies; how the institutions could re-appropriate their resources without the concurrence of the State or other funding organisations.

There would be three parallel sessions devoted to academic autonomy, administrative autonomy and financial autonomy.

These sessions will discuss diversifying academic programmes, and allowing individual institutions to set their own procedures and norms for admissions, determine their tuition and other fees, sign MoUs with other institutions and raise their own resources so that they become less dependent on public funds.

The CABE committee earlier held two rounds of discussions in New Delhi where it decided to solicit suggestions from stakeholders in higher education.

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