UGC wants higher education institutes to make jobs a top priority
As unemployment concerns rise, the University Grants Commission (UGC) is set to instruct every higher education institute to ensure at least 50% of those graduating get access to a job, self-employment or get to pursue higher education.
As per an ET report, UGC is expected to approve in its meeting on May 24 a set of targets and objectives for all higher education institutes that must be achieved by 2022.
The five-point objectives, referred to as the UGC mandate, are focused on ensuring that graduating students are more employable, have essential skills and are better engaged with society and industry.
Besides asking institutes to make sure that at least 50% pass-outs are either employed or academically engaged, the UGC has stipulated that student linkage with society and industry must be ensured by the institute. Thus at least two-thirds of the students enrolled “engage in socially productive activities”.
In this regard, every institution will be asked to adopt at least five villages for the exchange of knowledge and for the overall social and economic betterment of the local communities.
Additionally, 75% students are to be compulsorily trained by the institute in professional skills, such as teamwork, communication, leadership and time management, besides being educated on the need for imbibing the spirit of innovation, entrepreneurship and critical thinking.
The Commission will also call on institutes to continue to assess and handhold the students even as they pass out. As per the mandate, the institute must put each passing student through an exit test to assess his learning levels and the student must be tracked for progress after completion of the course as well.
The focus on jobs is significant given the concerns about employment in the country. While the payroll data released by the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) and the National Pension System (NPS) for the first time revealed that the economy added at least 2.2 mn formal jobs over the six months from September 2017- February 2018, to maintain its employment rate, India has to create 8.1 million jobs a year said a World Bank report.