Contested Ideologies & Visions of Higher Education

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Two recent trends in enrolment in higher education appear to make somewhat contradictory statements. During the recent period of economic downturn in Europe and North America, many new students enrolled for post-secondary education to strengthen their knowledge for the future. This is somewhat contrarian to the ‘normal’ logic that unemployment will push people to seek […]

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Trading or Reviving Institutions of Higher Education?

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Two stories have been making news lately. First is an advertisement for buying and selling of a wide variety of post- secondary educational institutions in India; the online advertisement provides opportunities for all kinds of institutions—universities, engineering and medical colleges, business schools. In the context of out-moded and out-dated regulatory framework, getting the ‘license’ to […]

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Recognising Skilled Professionals: Valuing Non-formal Learning

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Experts, conferences and missions abound these days on the need for skills development in much of the developing countries; even those which have embarked upon a trajectory of rapid economic growth (like India), development of skills is being touted as the next big ‘game changer’. Various schemes have been formulated to promote skills development in […]

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Education and Its Discontents

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The first fortnight of September has always been interesting for education and educationists. In north America and Europe, colleges and universities start a new semester; elsewhere, classes are in full swing. International Literacy Day is celebrated on September 8, though it is losing its shine, of late. Basic reading and writing skills have been acquired […]

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Embedding Higher Education in Life-long Learning

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In the rapidly changing world of education today, considerable debates have begun to occur around the unnecessary and unfortunate compartmentalization of various streams of education in national ministries and departments in many countries. Different departments exist almost as silos in respect of primary education, secondary education, tertiary education, vocational education, literacy, and adult education. From […]

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Public Engagement & Knowledge Institutions

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In recent weeks, scientific community has been contesting the relevance of public questioning of science. This has been reflected in matters related to GM foods, nuclear energy and digital surveillance. In each of these cases, the scientific enterprise and experts question the need, or for that matter the very right, of ‘lay’ citizens to challenge […]

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Knowledge Democracy & Community Engagement in Higher Education

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There is a growing trend to promote community engagement in higher education institutions (HEIs) these days. Many top-notch business schools send their MBA students to do ‘internships’ in poor communities; several universities and colleges ‘adopt’ some villages and slums around their institution where students spend some time in exposure; some HEIs have worked with local […]

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19 Years of Panchayati Raj

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Recording of radio interview (aired on AIR FM Rainbow India on 25 April) which discusses my views on the status of panchayati raj in India after nearly two decades.

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Right To Learn is Fundamental

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As we near the end of MDGs in 2015, there is already a process in motion in the UN system and global civil society to begin to articulate the next big idea(s) for human development. One of the key Development Goals set up during the Millennium Summit in 2000 was access to primary education and […]

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Women’€™s Leadership in Higher Education

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The world has just last week celebrated International Women’s Day—a symbol of women’s struggles for equality and recognition. In thinking about the many different ways in which women’s leadership will be exercised around the world in the next 20 years, it became obvious that women’s leadership in institutions of post-secondary and higher education would be […]

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