State-run varsities face huge shortage of teaching staff: Bangalore University VC

By VRC Phaniharan | THE HANS INDIA |   Oct 27,2018 , 01:32 AM IST

State-run varsities face huge shortage of teaching staff: Bangalore University VC
Bengaluru: Staff crunch and delay in the recruitment of faculty at the universities are the two main hurdles for the state universities failing to give their best in academics and research says Bangalore University (BU), Vice Chancellor Prof K R Venugopal.

Sharing his views with The Hans India, Venugopal said that the state universities like BU like its counterparts in other southern states in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry are not able to catch up with the new initiatives of the Union Ministry of Human Resources Development (UMHRD) suggesting the universities to offer credit courses across the campuses.

Universities like BU in South India have played a very important role in higher education for decades. But, of late they seem not able to cope up with the competition in the field of higher education...
BU is one among the premier higher education institutions in south India, as well as in the whole of the country, which has earned a name for itself. Several of its alumni excelled in various streams of professions, academics and research areas show the contribution of the university. But, the state-run universities are facing a huge shortage of teaching staff and non-academic staff and unless this issue is addressed it would not be possible for them to rejuvenate the academic and research activities.

Can't you at least open up your university offering credit courses as suggested by the MHRD?
Most of the departments are being run by the guest faculty. We are struggling to give our best to the students who are now studying at the university. At times, we are facing problems in addressing their issues. So, without sufficient teaching staff, the university would be further come under pressure, if it takes foreign students or those coming from other campuses from across the country to study at BU for credit course studies.

Don't you think not opening up for credit courses would make the state-run universities like BU would be failing to share their expertise with each other?
When the situation is no different across the universities then sharing of expertise would not help. Because, if we have enough teaching faculty then they can meet each other, discuss and arrive at a decision on how to integrate and offer our expertise to the students from across the campuses. As of now, it is difficult for us to go for across-the-campus credit course offering.

However, the students of BU are allowed to take MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses). Once we have sufficient faculty then the University can think in the direction of offering courses for credit transfer and allowing students from other campuses.

Where do students from universities like BU stand when the private universities continue to step up competition in higher education?
Despite the short-falls, students of BU elsewhere have been allowed to go for twinning programmes. This helps the students, for example, to study two years at the BU and two more years abroad, or any other higher education institution in the country. We are also encouraging the students to first go for MOOCs and explore their opportunities in taking up twinning programmes. This, to some extent, addresses the issues you are raising.

But, the first and paramount important issue for the universities is to ensure that every department has full-fledged faculty in full strength. Besides, the support staff in bringing a turn-around to play a significant role in contributing its best both in academics and research activities.

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