As colleges under Delhi University (DU) struggle to implement the new four-year undergraduate programme, Lady Shri Ram College (LSR) has taken a unique step — it is consulting foreign universities on the best way to proceed on the new programme.
On Saturday, senior officials from the University of Hong Kong and Trinity College, Dublin, visited LSR and interacted with teachers, explaining to them how they could conduct the four-year courses on their campuses.
The University of Hong Kong shifted to the four-year curriculum in 2012. “I was given the task in 2005 and we moved to the four-year curriculum in 2012. I spent two years meeting the faculty, asking them what they would want to do. A whole process of engagement took place and sometimes the debate became acrimonious,” Amy B M Tsui, Pro Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hong Kong, said.
Tsui felt that there was a need to look at the bigger picture — what was happening in the world. “The impact of globalisation and information overload has forced this question on universities — How are we going to prepare our students in this new age?” Tsui said.
Alluding to the criticism over the ‘hurried’ manner in which the course was being implemented in DU, Jane Ohlmeyer, Vice Provost for Global Relations, Trinity College, said, “I hope the government and the Vice-Chancellor have looked at the consequences. I hate to see this opportunity being lost.”
Consultations with officials of the two overseas institutions also touched upon availability of resources and quality of teaching. Stating that the four-year format was “extremely labour-intensive”, Ohlmeyer said, “The four-year course is all about smaller classes. I don’t see how you can bring it about without additional resources — not just space but also people.”
The admission season in DU this year has seen most colleges admitting around twice the number of its sanctioned student strength.