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AIU South Zone Vice Chancellors' Meet held at Alliance University, December 11 and 12, 2015

Alliance University hosted the All India Universities South Zone Vice Chancellors’  Meet at its campus on 11 and 12 December 2015.  Vice Chancellors representing all major universities from the South of India attended the meeting.  The theme of the Conference was ‘Globalizing Indian Higher Education: Issues, Challenges and Roadmap’.

The program began with an Address by the Guest of Honor: Prof. A M Pathan, Former President, AIU, Release of University News Letter and an Inaugural Address by Chief Guest Prof. D.P. Singh, Director, National Assessment and Accreditation Council, Bengaluru and a Presidential Address by Prof. Furqan Qamar, Secretary General, AIU. The Vice Chancellor, Dr. Pavana Dibbur addressed the gathering at the Inaugural and set the tone of the meeting.

Day 1

In the Inaugural Address by the Guest of Honor, globalizing education and the management of higher education excellence was talked about. There was also a statement on governmental commitment to enhancing excellence across educational institutions. It was also stated that AIU was ably supporting Universities in understanding and implementing Choice Based Credit System (CBCS).

In the Inaugural Address by the Chief Guest, the academic design of Universities as institutions of educational excellence was discussed so as to enable it to drive new ideas and support innovation. Issues of academic freedom with a multi-disciplinary approach, globalization with market oriented courses was also talked about. In the presidential address, there was a recommendation to creating a balance between money power, mind power and muzzle power. There was also a call to rationalize the costs of education so as to allow the access to the kind of learning and enhance inclusiveness.

Academic quality and excellence issues relevant to research patent and knowledge creation were also talked about.

Scientific Session I : Transforming Indian Higher Education System in the Global Context

Discussions in this session pertained to maintaining quality in Indian higher education and emphasis was placed on how Universities were responsible in imparting quality education that is skill based Globalization as a concept was defined and issues relevant to its impact and implications were discussed.  Specifically, the impact of globalization on education was discussed. There was a call to add to the ‘brick &to mortar’ modela‘click to mortar’ initiative in the field of education. Advantages of both these formats were discussed with special emphasis on virtual learning and the process of digitization.

Scientific Session-II: Institutional Challenges and Change Enablers in Indian Higher Education

In this session, there were discussions on the move to a knowledge economy with recommendations on the education system being an enabler and not an enforcer. There was a recommendation that the teaching-Learning design needed to be changed to suit the needs to the modern-day learners. It was stated that the system needed to be student centric with a move from an assembly line design to one that is personalized to the needs of the learners.

It was also discussed that India has come a long way in arena of higher education sector. However more improvements were required. Autonomy was important and regulations needed to be helpful to the propagation of education. It was also stated that education is not just about knowledge but also about life, and that its spread must quell the social unrest and arrest breakdown of families.

The discussions also centered aroundthe supply – demand gap, low quality of teaching-learning, uneven access to opportunity, and constraints in research capacity and innovation.

The remedies that were discussed included shift to a learning society, greater industry – academic interaction, enhanced access to teachers and researchers, innovation in teaching, and increased public – private participation in the field of education.

Day II

Scientific Session III: Governmental Policy and Industrial Participation for Sustainable Employability

This session focused on the move to a ‘global mindset’ across the field of education. There were calls made for funding for higher education, driven by a budgetary allocation. It was also stated that the benefits of globalizing Indian higher education can’t be overlooked.

There were calls to move a form of sustainable employabilitythat would be beneficial to society at large. The emphasis on Public Universities was hampered by numerable hurdles especially those of government policies.

Scientific Session – IV: Regulatory Reforms and Execution Plan in Indian Higher Education

There was a suggestion to go in for curriculum re-structuring. Issues regarding annual academic calendar, event calendar standardization, institutional collaborations, partnership with leading MNC’s were discussed. Again, it was suggested that academia and industryshould work togetherso as to enable Indian Universities to go global.

Other issuesof importance discussed included, access to quality education, improving quality of the higher education, and removal of cultural barriers. In specific it was stated that regulatory actions should enable innovative changes, create holistic impact and enhance the impact of higher education on the country. Discussions also covered  pedagogy, distribution of funds, stakeholder involvement, industry participation, and cutting-edge research.

The meeting was very productive and ended on a positive note with all participants expressing their satisfaction at the arrangements made by Alliance University and the in depth quality of the discussions.

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