Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Future best universities may surprise us

Rankings of Indian universities in a recent higher education survey was not particularly impressive. But that was hardly surprising. An article about why there is a crisis in Delhi university made me recall my views about Goa's potential as a fantastic place for learning.

Every time I visited the Goa University campus on Taleigao or Goa Engineering College in Verna, the serenity and beauty were striking. It seemed obvious that there could not be a better place for contemplation and research.

Little incidents indicated that teachers were sincere and cared. This was supported by a cousin who was training teachers for a major publication house. She said that she was pleasantly surprised by the dedication and sincerity of the participants. It was different from her experiences in general.

The environment and the atmosphere are right so why the absence of progress. Regrettably, the University Grants Commission (UGC) promotes uniformity in the guise of excellence. So, Goa University is a smaller version of the rest of Indian Universities - potential is there but execution is depressing.

It is a small university with not too many affiliated colleges. A little change in direction and autonomy can make a phenomenal difference. It is not money but a change in attitude that we can do it will make all the difference.

I keep hoping that one day soon I will hear that Goa University is excelling in X. That X does not have to engineering and medicine. It probably will be an 'obscure' subject - because making a change in a domain which is ignored is much easier. The rest of the society will notice only after success has already been achieved. Much like our software services industry.

Let it be modern languages, music or any one thing which will help trigger a movement for excellence by proving that it is possible.

1 comment:

  1. Insightful. And at the same time, food for thought for the powers that be (only if they are sincere, that is!)