Panacea Or Placebo

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Rahul Choudaha

Education Programmes According to a 2006 survey conducted by the American Council on Education (ACE), 43 percent of the nation’s college presidents received their degrees in either education, or higher education. In India, the National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA) is one specialist institution that focuses on education and research. However, given the challenges before us, there is the need for more such programmes. Existing colleges need to take a proactive role and create new courses, while business schools should venture into this domain and offer specialisations.

Strategic Framework for Developing Higher Education Leadership in India




(Continuous Learning) Professional Associations

Educational Leadership

(Professional Expertise) Master’s/PhD Programs

Research (Knowledge Creation) Research Centers

A Culture Of Research Research is integral to development of a field. In the US, knowledge creation is supported by university-based centres and independent think tanks. In India, one existing challenge is the lack of a research culture and reward mechanisms. Our country needs to engage in application-oriented research. The launch of education magazines, especially focusing on field leaders,



Collaboration Policy Funding


Government, Corporate Support Finally, education, research and practice of higher

ne has to develop a profession of educational leadership— leaders, who understand the nature of higher education

is one such step towards building a culture of research. Conferences are also important in engaging in a dialogue. In addition, more publishing opportunities are required for faculty and researchers.

Practice: Professional Development The “practice” aspect of strategic framework refers to opportunities of continuous learning and professional development. Currently, the administrative track in higher education is not recognised as a “profession.” There is an urgent need to systematically develop leaders and managers who understand the context, constraints and challenges of education. Professional associations are the key, as they keep an eye on quality and prepare specialists for a changing environment. A pan-India professional association that brings together administrators from across institutes, may go a long way in building a “profession” of educational leadership.

education leadership cannot develop in a vacuum. They need support from the government and industry, as far as funding or understanding of industry needs are concerned. Given the socioeconomic structure of India, government will continue to play a critical role in policy making and setting directions. Industry associations such as FICCI, CII and ASSOCHAM need to support the collaboration among stakeholders.

Education Leadership Is Imminent The Indian Prime Minister had announced the establishment of 14 world-class universities as a part of the XIth five-year plan. The execution of such a vision requires leaders who understand the challenges of institution building. Creating a profession of higher education leadership by bringing together elements of education, research and practice will catalyse the quality and competitiveness of Indian higher education both at an institutional and a systemic level.

Rahul Choudaha A higher education specialist based out of New York, Dr Choudaha specialises in strategic management of higher education, institution building, academic leadership, collaborations and market development. He has a PhD in higher education from the University of Denver, MBA from NITIE, Mumbai, and BE from Jabalpur University

February 2010 Edu Tech