Inflexible systems to blame? Over half of Telangana’s higher education seats vacant

With over 10 lakh higher education seats in the two Telugu states remaining vacant each year and lakhs of students opting for courses abroad, experts have blamed the lack of infrastructure and inflexibility of courses as the chief reasons behind the current predicament.

“It’s not money or time which is stopping students from opting a course or college. However, there is a huge mismatch between what students want and what colleges are offering. This is leading to more than half of the seats in higher educational institutions going vacant in the state and the country,” said S Jeelani, former secretary of University Grants Commission (UGC), Regional Office (Hyderabad).

Jeelani added that during his tenure the UGC had conducted a survey which revealed that not even half of the seats in 815 engineering colleges located in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh are filled every year. He said that flexible learning option and an opportunity to earn while learning is attracting students to other countries.

Seconding the former regional head of UGC, the chairman of Telangana State Council of Higher Education (TSCHE) T Papi Reddy said that expect for law there are excess seats available in each and every other course. “Whether it is engineering pharmacy, MBA or any other degree courses, 50% or more seats in the state are lying vacant. There is a need to figure out specializations in demand and Vice Chancellors of various varsities should identify the opportunities and strive to obtain a higher grade of potential from each course,” said Reddy.

Industry experts have claimed that they are doing a gap analysis to find out the areas where institutes in the state and country are failing. “When students who studied in varsities in Telangana are leading multinational companies in other countries, why are institutes failing to replicate the same success? We want to figure out what is missing her and bridge the gap so that our varsities are on par with institutes in other countries, ” sad Srikanth Badiga, chairman of the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

Experts have also highlighted that 50% of teaching posts in state varsities and 30-40% posts in central varsities are currently vacant.