Building Universities that Matter provides a detailed analysis of the neglected issues of governance in higher education, the processes that weaken governance systems in universities, and how they impact learning on campuses.
Drawing on past studies and his own experiences in some of the finest institutions of higher education in India and abroad, the author states that higher education in India is characterised by regulation and bureaucratic control; low investment in learning and physical infrastructure; poor quality of teachers and teaching; corruption, nepotism and student violence.
The university is different from a bureaucratic or commercial organisation, but has not been managed differently. As a result, it no longer remains a safe haven for new experiments, new ideas, and new voices.
This book is also about people – faculty, boards, bureaucrats, and politicians – and how together, they have failed the student. At a time when universities in India are being critiqued for under-achievement, the book builds a case for a redesign of the university as an organisation.
Pankaj Chandra is Vice Chancellor ofAhmedabad University, India and former Director of IIM Bangalore. He was member of the Government of India’s Committee to Advise on Renovation and Rejuvenation of Higher Education (Yashpal Committee) which gave him an opportunity to visit universities across the country and understand their state of governance.
List of Abbreviations
Chapter 1 The Purpose of Education and Educational Institutions
Chapter 2 The Vulnerable University
Chapter 3 University as an Organisation
Chapter 4 Governing Academia
Chapter 5 Teaching, Learning, and the Students
Chapter 6 A Culture of Un-Inquiry
Chapter 7 Decaying Campuses
Chapter 8 Responsibility of the Society
Chapter 9 Building Institutions that Matter
(Thinking Differently about Reforms)
This is the most pointed critique as well as the best possible treatise for building the right sorts of educational institutions in India. Chandra provides the crucial intersection of theory and practice, local and global perspectives, transgressing real and imagined boundaries to paint, ultimately, a landscape of hope.
What the book has accomplished is monumental in terms of placing in perspective the context, the policy environment, the ecosystem, the structure and the dynamics of higher education in India. The author’s analysis of the complexities involved as well as the insights … provides a much needed reference frame for both scholars and practitioners of higher education.
Building Universities That Matter is a pioneering endeavour emphasizing the critical importance of organisational processes and procedures … for building effective higher educational institutions. The book’s lucid analysis and recommendations makes it a ‘must read’ for anyone who cares about the future of higher education in India.
Indian universities have lost their purpose and very few stakeholders realise that they have been responsible for it. This book is a remarkably probing work that can help educationists find new and creative ways to pull higher education out of the deep morass.