UGC issues draft guidelines to make HEIs financially self-sustaining

The initial draft IDP guidelines was released by the UGC in January last year and sought suggestions from stakeholders

UDG draft on HEIs

New Delhi: The University Grants Commission (UGC) on Wednesday released an updated draft of its guidelines to finalise institutional development plan (IDP) for higher education institutions (HEIs), which seek to make higher education financially self-sustaining.

The proposed draft also envisages private sector partnerships for raising funds, a ranking system for faculty members, creation of ‘emotional infrastructure’, and increasing undergraduate seats for higher revenues.

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The initial draft IDP guidelines was released by the UGC in January last year and sought suggestions from stakeholders. UGC chairperson M Jagadesh Kumar said that the revised draft released on Wednesday aims to help universities and colleges plan for academic, administrative, and financial self-reliance.

The revised guidelines suggest that the HEIs must identify and prioritise the sources of funding for the development of financial infrastructure such as government grants, alumni donations, private sector partnerships, and fund-raising campaigns.

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“The HEIs, including both public and private, should work on ‘appropriate and sustainable revenue model’ where the revenues are derived from sources including tuition fee from students, government grants and subsidies, overheads earned on the sponsored research and development projects from the government and the private sector, and endowments,” the draft stated.

The guidelines also suggested other income sources including philanthropic contributions such as corporate social responsibility (CSR), royalties on intellectual property (IP)/patents, etc. “In a fully developed HEI, each of these sources must contribute about a similar percentage to the total revenue, depending on the size of the HEIs. Therefore, HEIs must also focus on expanding their undergraduate programmes as additional students mean more revenue,” the draft guidelines said.

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According to a senior UGC officer, the draft guidelines also recommended faculty ranking or assessment based on research-based academic performance indicators (API) scores and subsequent additional incentives to motivate teachers.

“Faculty members generate a winning spirit and constantly strive for excellence when their annual API rankings are announced and they are graded according to different levels. Faculty oversight at every stage can be reduced in such scenarios,” the guidelines stated.

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Meanwhile, the draft norms also suggested the HEIs to create “emotional infrastructure” by providing a good working environment for all stakeholders with ethical policies and a transparent academic and administrative system and taking extra care in all service areas of both higher education and research activities.

The commission, however, has also clarified that the guidelines will be indicative. “It is imperative that the autonomy of the institutes is maintained while developing and operationalising such a plan. Therefore, the IDP guidelines are self-regulating in nature,” it said.

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