P P Mathur, Vice Chancellor, KIIT University talks about the ways to reform the landscape of higher education in India
What has been your mission while promoting the cause of education?
KIIT University was established to provide quality technical education in the country. It is a very young University and has been able to become one of the leading universities in the country. The University also provides social consciousness to the students.
In terms of regulation of the higher education sector, what are the key challenges and prospects in reforming the landscape of higher education?
The key challenges to the education sector are providing quality education and to get a place in the list of best education institutions of the world. For this, research and innovations have to be encouraged in the universities.
What are your views on RUSA: Will it be the game-changer in higher education and how?
RUSA has been contemplated as gamechanger in the higher education. It would increase bureaucratic set up in the higher education system but if implemented seriously and passionately by the state governments it might yield some of the desired results. Efforts should be made to include the best private higher education institutions also in the fold of RUSA. Time has come to give due recognition to best private and deemed universities.
With foreign collaborations being the key focus of educational institutes, what are the current and future plans of your university in the same?
KIIT University already has foreign collaborations with more than 80 educational institutions. Many of them fall in the list of top 200 institutions in the world. The University has ongoing exchange programmes for faculty and students. The University receives more than 1000 students from abroad every year for short-term and long-term programmes. We are expanding the programmes and want to see KIIT University as a global University in the truest sense of the term.
Do you think industry-academia partnership is important to provide employable skills to students and how?
The University has strong links with the industry. In the School advisory Boards and Boards of Studies of the University, experts from industry are inducted. In addition, much industry-related courses and industry partnership programmes are available for the students. This has helped the University to achieve nearly 100 percent placement in all the branches in the past years.
What are your views on the use of ICTs in Education?
How does the university keep up with the rapid technological changes? The University has a strong ICT component in education. The University has provided 100 percent computer penetration with high speed internet connectivity. The University is keeping pace with changing technology by removing obsolescence. The University has subscribed to a large number of electronic resources.
What is the significance of mandatory accreditation of higher education institutions?
Mandatory accreditation of higher education institutions is a good step in which good performing institutions would get advantage and bad performing institutions would be identified and corrective measures will be taken. However, there is a great challenge in covering the large number of institutions in credible accreditation process.
How has your university been able to provide the necessary knowledge for effective employability of students?
The university tries to provide best learning experience in core subjects. In addition, development of soft and communication skills is also taken up through credit and non-credit courses. Such an effort has increased the employability of the students. The university also provides overall personality development through various co-curricular and extracurricular activities.