NEW DELHI: The University Grants Commission (UGC) in its meeting held on Tuesday passed the draft guidelines for Institutional Development Plan for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).
Globally, there is an increasing interest in quality and standards, reflecting both the rapid growth of higher education and its cost to the public and the private finances.
According to UGC, higher educational institutes in India too will need to demonstrate that it takes quality to a significantly more advanced level and puts into place the means of attaining, demonstrating and assuring that sustainable quality.
The challenges and demands, which are emerging both inside and outside India in the face of this context and the internationalization of higher education, demand a powerful and concerted response.
The National Education Policy 2020 enunciates that Quality Higher Education must aim to develop good, thoughtful, well-rounded, and creative individuals. An individual must he encouraged to study one or more specialized areas of interest at a deep level, and also develop character, ethical and Constitutional values, intellectual curiosity, scientific temper, creativity, spirit of service, and 21st century capabilities across a range of disciplines including sciences, social sciences, arts, humanities, languages, as well as professional, technical, and vocational subjects.
The UGC has developed guidelines for individual HEIs to develop their own Institutional Development Plans to further the aims set out in the NEP 2020.
UGC believes that the IDP needs to reflect an integrated approach that is mindful of the institution’s vision and mission, context, life cycle stage, location, character, and aspirations.
It particularly laid down guidelines on how higher educational institutes can improve their infrastructure – both physical and digital.
Physical infrastructure, according to guidelines, should support both academic and research activities of various schools and departments of universities
It said campus buildings, open space, circulation, and utility systems should be arranged to ensure that academic, research, outreach, cultural, and operational activities interact positively; the campus is protected and strengthened as an integral part of the University’s mission of living and learning; preserve and enhance the aesthetic appeal of campus; encourage environmental stewardship; reduce energy waste, improve energy efficiency, and decrease energy impacts; adequate infrastructure facilities and equipment have been provided/ integrated with departments for vocational education, training and skilling; facilities for expression of artistic abilities, creativity and pursuit of sports and fitness regimes and interests; basic Health facilities are developed and functional including for mental health like psychosocial counselling and wellbeing centers; among others.
Digitalization has taken the world by storm due to its capacity to cause substantial transformations in how institutes function by improving their internal processes.
Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and its infrastructure support have become an integral part for existence and learning experiences in all aspects of life.
“There are various advantages to digitalization including increased efficiency, increased productivity, lower operational costs, improved learner experience, higher agility, enhanced morale, improved communication, increased transparency, improved competitive advantage, and faster decision making,” the draft read.
With the entire world moving very rapidly into digital media and other niche areas of technology, the role of ICT in education is becoming more and more significant and this significance will continue to foster and advance in the 21st century.
UGC suggested that the HEIs must also create a road map along with requisite modes of learning and teaching using the ICT and virtual technologies to move towards the idea of ‘Digital Universities’
NEP 2020 also envisages to invest in creation of open, interoperable, evolvable, public digital infrastructure in the education sector that can be used by multiple platforms and point solutions, to solve for India’s scale, diversity, complexity and device penetration. (ANI)