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Access, equity key challenges to improving quality of higher education, say scholars

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: March 20, 2019  | 17:52 IST

New Delhi, Mar 20 (PTI) Access, equity and excellence are key challenges to improving the quality of higher education in India, and institutions are obliged to address these issues through inclusive processes, scholars said at the launch of a report on higher education. The event was attended by noted academicians and legal luminaries including Justices Sabrina S McKenna and Michael D Wilson of the Supreme Court of Hawaii, USA. The report, released by Jindal Global University (JGU), highlighted the institution's progress on 16 indicators of diversity and inclusion across key functions such as gender parity, pedagogy, research and disciplinary diversity. JGU Vice-Chancellor C Raj Kumar said that a day long seminar on "Diversity, Inclusion and Internationalisation: Comparative Perspectives" was held at the varsity where scholars, academics, and practitioners discussed the importance of sensitising students, teacher and staff bodies towards challenges of an increasingly diversified university communities, among others. "The idea of this pluralism is deeply embedded in India's rich cultural heritage," said Kumar while launching the report -- Diversity and Inclusion: Towards Building a Diverse, Equitable and Global University. "All institutions and organisations inherently need to be as representative as possible of the communities they are located within, in order to survive and thrive. Higher education institutions have an even greater obligation to accomplish such representation given the public character of their mission and purpose, and the broad societal goals they commit to achieve. These aims take on greater significance in India's developing context, and given the value that a robust higher education system can add to achieving national developmental goals," Kumar said. Releasing the diversity report, Professor Virandar S Chauhan, Chairman of the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) said institutions must consider offering courses outside of their traditional disciplinary orientations. PTI LLP PKS SA

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