IANS-CVoter National Mood Tracker:Indians divided about impact of ‘Professor of Practice’ scheme on higher education

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has allowed universities and other higher education institutions to recruit distinguished experts having 15 years of experience in their respective fields under the ‘Professor of Practice’ programme even if they do not have PhD degrees and don’t fulfil academic and publication requirements.

“Those who have proven expertise in their specific profession or role with at least 15 years of service or experience, preferably at a senior level, will be eligible for ‘Professors of Practice’. A formal academic qualification is not considered essential for this position if they have exemplary professional practice in lieu,” read the UGC guidelines.

UGC took the decision in its 560th meeting last week. The scheme ‘Professor of Practice’ is expected to be notified in September. The main objective of the scheme is to engage distinguished experts who have made outstanding contributions in their professions to teach at universities and other institutions of higher studies across India.

These experts will be recruited from the field such as engineering, science, technology, entrepreneurship, commerce, social sciences, media, literature, fine arts, civil services, armed forces, legal profession, public administration, among others. The scheme aims to bring field expertise to academia.

CVoter-IndiaTracker conducted a pan India survey on behalf of IANS to understand people’s opinion about the impact of this scheme on the quality of higher education.

The survey found that Indians were divided in their opinion on whether recruiting industry experts in academia will improve the quality of higher education or not.

According to the survey data, while 38 per cent of the respondents believe that the scheme will have a negative impact on the quality of higher education, 35 per cent respondents shared a completely different opinion.

At the same time, 27 per cent of respondents appeared to be clueless.

During the survey, while a bigger proportion of rural respondents, 40 per cent, opined that the recruitment scheme will prove to be good for the higher education in the country, a bigger proportion of urban respondents, 50 per cent, said that quality of higher education will deteriorate.

The survey data further revealed sharp division in the views of respondents across all age groups on the issue.

As per the survey data, while 33 per cent respondents in the 18-24 age category believe that the scheme will enhance the quality of higher education, 39 per cent respondents in this age group disagreed.

Similarly, while 35 per cent respondents from 35-44 years of age group opined that recruiting field experts into academics will prove to be good for higher education, 37 per cent respondents for this age group did not share the sentiment.

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