A scrutiny of higher education and its dimensions
A relentless decline in the quality of higher education and its relevance to industries has become apparent in recent decades. The degrees awarded by the universities have lost their credibility as evident from the dismal performance of even the rank holders, gold medallists, those securing distinctions, first class in their Master’s degrees in national level
eligibility tests like NET/SLET examinations, oral tests and interviews for jobs. The graduates often depict poor knowledge of skills and also fundaments in their own subjects. Against this backdrop, the book provides an excellent perspective on the different dimensions of higher education, and how it took shape during the pre- and postcolonial British rule, thanks to the meticulously carved milestones set up by the most eminent educationists and illustrious scholars like S. Radhakrishnan, D. S. Kothari, Yash Pal and others.
The book has 25 chapters that cover different dimensions, integral to the management of college development vis-a-vis higher education. The topics of the book cover meaning and history of higher education, role of teachers, art of teaching, aspects of good governance, fostering quality in education, leadership role of principals, preparation for assessment and accreditation of colleges, importance of digital literacy, library as a centre for learning, harnessing potential of alumnus, management of stress, importance of counselling, etc.
The book highlights that teaching is one of the most daunting tasks in communication. A teacher should be the primary source of information to catalyse learning and integrating the information into knowledge. A good teacher is motivated to connect and induce the student to drop the barriers in communication, something that requires good presentation of skills, correct use of language, and speed of delivery that allows students to grasp the contents without being bored to death. A teacher has to be articulate, be grammatically correct and focussed on the audience reaction.
An important message of the book is that in view of a rapid and massive industrial revolution and associated technology driven disruptions in the existing jobs has become a real problem. Fortunately, Institutional Research (IR) creates new opportunities as well that require new skills. Therefore, the present education system needs to be completely redesigned from the conventional classroom teaching (permitting passive absorption by the learners) to creating thinking, making innovations and empowering learners to innovate.
The book lays emphasis on the true meaning and spirits of higher education, evolution of higher education in India, pivotal role of teachers and future education. Evidently, higher education is for manifestation perfection, ideally, it should lead to a search for truth and higher objectives, meaning and purpose of life. Higher education is for life and not merely for living. In fact, the book provides a much-needed orientation to college and university faculty by explaining the real meaning and spirit of higher education and its role in transformation of the society through human resource building. It also sheds light on the changing scenario of higher education in the 21st century and the direction in which we should traverse. Therefore, the governing bodies, administrators and faculty members will find the book very valuable in accomplishing excellence in academic as well as administrative management of higher education institutions, colleges and universities.
By Ashok kumar