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Stakeholders Asked To Improve Access To Higher Learning

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, May 4 (UNI) With barely one in ten Indian youth having access to higher education, stakeholders were urged today to ensure that no eligible youth is denied the opportunity to attend college or other institution of higher learning.

The appeal came from Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh as he inaugurated a two-day national conference on Deemed to be Universities: Role and Responsibilities.

The Minister stressed achieving the goal without compromising with the quality of teaching and education.

He spoke of concerns of access, quality, equity and relevance in education, in overcoming which, he said, Deemed Universities have an important role to play.

Mr Singh noted that India has 350 universities and 17,000 colleges, but less than 10 per cent of its youth have access to higher education.

On issues before the participants, he said, governance of institutions was as relevant as academic excellence and institutions' autonomy vis a vis the government was as critical as autonomy of academics in relation to the governance structures within institutions.

Mr Singh said the ultimate management goal must be delivering high quality education accessible and affordable for all and at par with the best anywhere.

University Grants Commission Chairman Sukhdeo Thorat asked participants to discuss the issues threadbare given their importance to India which sees higher education as a powerful tool to build a knowledge-based 21st century society.

HRD Additional Secretary K M Acharya and UGC Secretary Mool Chand Sharma also spoke at the conference being attended by 200 Chancellors and Vice Chancellors and Directors of Deemed to be Universities.

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