Address issue of access to higher education, says UGC

Acknowledging the rapid rise of private sector`s participation in higher education, the UGC today stressed the need for addressing the issue of its access to wider sections through an appropriate policy mechanism.

Last Updated: Aug 17, 2010, 22:58 PM IST

Hyderabad: Acknowledging the rapid rise of
private sector`s participation in higher education, the
University Grants Commission (UGC) today stressed the need for
addressing the issue of its access to wider sections through
an appropriate policy mechanism.

"Private participation in higher education is expanding
very fast, particularly in technical and vocational education.
The issue of private participation in higher education needs
to be well-defined," UGC Chairman Sukhadeo Thorat said here.

"Fee structure of private educational institutes is
beyond the reach of the poor. We will have to ensure those
from the poor sections desiring to pursue higher education are
not denied opportunities, and also that private institutes
provide quality education," he said.

Speaking at the 78th convocation of the Osmania
University here, Thorat said a target of 15 per cent enrolment
rate in higher education -- equivalent to seven million more
students by 2012 (end of 11th Five-Year Plan) -- has been set.

He said the Union Human Resource Development Ministry is
working on a target of 30 per cent enrolment by 2020.

Increase in enrolment will have to come from groups like
girls, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, OBC and the poor
who have low access to higher education, he said.

"Quality in higher education needs attention. To monitor
the quality of universities and colleges, the UGC has made
accreditation mandatory for all institutes of higher
education," Thorat said.

Andhra Pradesh Governor and University Chancellor E S
L Narasimhan, who was also present, suggested that PhD degree
holders could take up teaching as there were a lot of
vacancies in colleges and it would also help in improving
quality of education.

"To further improve the quality of education, PhD holders
can take up teaching as profession for two or three years on
the lines of compulsory rural postings for doctors," he said.

As many as 350 PhD degrees and 70 gold medals in
different courses were presented at the function.

PTI