Bangalore: There are leadership challenges faced by the Indian higher education system and it is seen that the sector is facing lack of capable leaders, said a global survey of the academic community. 92 percent of the respondents said that the trend is expected to persist until 2020. Only 5 percent of the respondents said that there was no lack of leaders, as reported by Manash Pratim Gohain for TNN.
Almost 81 percent of the respondents said there is a serious gap between the existing pool and the requirement of academic leaders to meet 12th Five Year Plan and India Vision 2020 for Higher Education sector. While, just 18 percent respondents said that there is moderate gap between the expected demand and the existing pool.
80 percent of the respondents said "Futuristic Approach to Development" is the most important trait of the transformational leader in Indian Higher Education". At 57 percent it was followed by “Understanding of Higher Education Ecosystem".
"Exceptional academic record and research orientation", and "strong administrative ability and relationship orientation" were also seen as equally vital traits with 50 percent of the respondents voting for it. Academics also thought that high professional integrity, global exposure, ethical standards and ability to change are some of the other requisite traits of a transformational leader.
More than one-third of the respondents felt that being an academician was not a well-liked career choice as it lacked sufficient mentoring. A shortage of academic leadership, guidance and training (60 percent) and low salary (50 percent) were the other reasons that were given for the failure of the education sector to attract promising academics.
The survey was conducted in early February 2013 among thought leaders, chancellors, vice chancellors, deans, principals, directors and professors located in the U.S., UK, India, Dubai, Germany, Australia, France and Hungary.
The survey observed why Indian higher education institutes are unable to lure overseas Indians with excellent academic background and proven leadership skills.
Highly bureaucratic Indian systems and siloed approach of stakeholders were cited as the chief reasons. While, poor appreciation of academics and perception that academicians in the higher education system have low integrity were other reasons why the overturn in brain drain wasn't happening.
Dr G Vishwanathan, president, EPSI and chancellor of Vellore institute of Technology University said "The results of the survey on leadership challenges in the higher education system are alarming and demand a serious attention by political leadership, policy makers, chancellors and vice chancellors," as reported by TNN.It was also noted that low brand-value of India, low or superficial orientation to research and development, poor compensation, high levels of corruption in institutions and society, and management myopia were cited as reasons why well-known academicians did not consider India as a possible destination.
When asked if experienced corporate sector, civil and defence services professionals could fill the leadership gap in the higher education institutions in order to bridge the gaps for leadership challenge, 8 out of 10 percent respondents felt that managing knowledge-based institutions is different from other organizations. However 20 percent of the respondents highly praised them for their greater ability to manage the institutions.
Further, 51 percent of the respondents favored creating a group of academic leaders in India and abroad, for grooming potential leaders annually.
On the question if "the Prohibition of Unfair Practices in Higher Education Institutions Bill 2011 that provides provision for arresting and imprisonment of chancellors, vice-chancellors, Deans or head of institutions, help to curb malpractices in higher education?" just 20 percent of the respondents felt that it will end the malpractices in higher education while majority (80 percent) respondents said that this will lead to wrong examples in higher education systems which is already over strained with numerous constraints.