The first meeting of the advisory council of the Kerala State Higher Education Council will be held on Tuesday. The meeting comes at a time when the draft proposals for restructuring undergraduate education and setting up of college clusters – submitted by committees set up by the council – have triggered debates within the academic community and when the council itself has completed the first stage of mapping the facilities available in the State’s highe
r education sector.
HEC advisory panel to meet today
The meeting also assumes significance given that the reports recommending the setting up of a technical university and medical university submitted to the government are now being studied by the council.
According to the agenda note for the meeting, the council has already completed compilation of the data generated during the first stage of the mapping exercise. This pertains to colleges and courses under different universities in the state.
In the second phase, a spot survey will be conducted to collect information about affiliated courses under various universities. Volunteers of the National Service Scheme will be involved in this survey that will also focus on the unorganised education sector in the State. The aim of the survey, the agenda note points out, is to help the council make “informed recommendations” for the planned development of higher education in the State.
The five-member council committee looking into the formulation of the State policy on higher education has met only once so far.
It has also decided to formulate a draft report based on which wider consultations can be held on this issue.
One draft report that has already become the subject of academic debate is the one pertaining to the restructuring of undergraduate courses in the state. The Council has already held discussions with representatives of teachers organizations and student bodies on this issue. This draft report will be placed before the advisory council during the meeting on Tuesday.
On the subject of establishing college clusters, the council feels that at least 10 such clusters should be set up over the next four years. The draft report of the committee that studied this matter will be placed before the council meeting.
The State government has already sanctioned Rs.1 crore for setting up a cluster around Maharaja’s Collge, Ernakulam.
The council is also for creating e-learning infrastructure in these clusters. This issue will also be debated in the council.
The meeting is also expected to discuss the setting up of the Rs.100-crore Higher Education Scholarship Fund, the council’s plans for conducting a review of the Acts that govern the functioning of State universities, the setting up of Centres for Curriculum Development, Examination reforms, capacity building, manpower planning and employment and assessment of institutions.
The meeting is also expected to debate the proposals for setting up new universities (technical and medical) in the State. The council has already recommended to the government the setting up of a State Open University.
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