Struggle for knowledge and unity | Daily News

Struggle for knowledge and unity

There is an increasing emphasis on the importance of the involvement of university administrators in the quality assurance process of higher education around the world. Ministers of Education of the Bologna signatory states have underlined the importance of partnership between higher education institutions, their staff and students in order to achieve the goals set for the European Higher Education area.

Only very few universities have introduced capacity development training programmes for administrators.

According to the qualifications they hold, vary from basic degree to PhDs same as academics, though their career issues in universities have not addressed appropriately, rather they face occupational inequalities in many of the South Asian countries.

Many of the international summits which need to be attended by the administrators are attended by academics and role of administrators have been neglected.

Therefore, best practices in university administration cannot be shared globally.

Knowledge sharing

They need to be updated with the knowledge in the global landscape of higher education. At present universities are competing with their rankings. In such a situation university administrator cannot be set aside. University development process is a collective process in moulding future generations. They need to be part and parcel of discussions on challenges, opportunities and common goals in higher education. Higher education is a goal to be achieved collectively in a qualitative manner.

Guidelines for national reviews of ENQA member agencies include students, alongside quality assurance experts, representatives of higher education institutions and other stakeholders as the proposed members of the panels which should evaluate the quality of the quality assurance agencies. University administrators need to be part and parcel of each institutional review conducted in universities to strengthen the quality assurance process.

A new bold partnership in higher education

A new partnership between the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) and the Association of Indian Universities (AIU) will see the two organisations joining forces to support new multinational initiatives in teaching, training, leadership development, and research collaborations. TWO largest and oldest university networks – the Association of Indian Universities (AIU) and Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) – have joined hands to work for the development of higher education in India and the Commonwealth.

One of the first things they wanted to work on together is a joint funding proposal to establish a leadership training and capacity-building programme for senior administrators in Indian universities. Such bold initiatives need much appreciation and recognition.

Universities cannot run without administrators. We need to share experiences of different best practices in a diverse environment in order to quality assured in University administration. The outcome of this process will be beneficial to the students at large. There is a necessity to convene a forum internationally to share the best practices in administration in University Grants Commissions and Universities around the world. University Administrators need to be part and parcel of institutional reviews as they have a role to play in governance, maintaining financial viability and maintaining ethics and code of practices in human resource development. Further through internal quality assurance units in universities, University administrators could facilitate the quality assurance process.

Universities are made for community

Universities are catering to the community and their employees need to be community leaders in sharing the knowledge with the public at large. This function cannot be isolated without proper university administration. We need to serve the community at large.

The outcome of higher education need to be beneficial to the community at large and should not cater to the elitism only.

This could mean moving the HR function from a transactional to a more strategic model; enhancing the contribution that the HR function makes to achieve institutional strategic objectives in universities. The institutional framework of every university needs to be strengthened.

Therefore, in order to make universities strong partners in the society university administration need to be strengthened. 


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