Most of our students come from small villages and remote area schools to seek admissions in higher education in big towns and cities. They come with dreams to enter into good colleges and largely rely on the Google-search to find a top college for the admission to pursue their studies. But what they find, is an ocean of misleading information. Here is what meets their eyes?
1. Institutes failing to secure impressive NAAC grade and NIRF ranking, often rely on artificially inflated visibility, driven by the SEO and AdWords. A very ordinary institute is often seen right at the top of the google search engine, even over the IITs and IIMs. Innocent students do little understand.
2. Institutes on the external crutches, subscribe to education listing and directory websites. Often a student searching for a top college/university, hits an institute page, created by some dominant listing websites/portals which have various models to spike up/pop up an institute amongst the few at the top of the list, depending on what you pay. They take a lot of money from the institutes. Students don’t understand this too.
3. Social Media is a yet another platform where many ordinary institutes get away by cleverly-directed misleading campaigns showing the moon. Some even highlight which film actor or actress is invited every year by the college rather than which statesmen have addressed the students in the past.
4. Over 80% of institutes don’t upload their mandatory laid down compliances in full, and if they upload, they do so either partly or incorrectly mapping these with their earlier declarations. They will not upload poor rank or grade but say, ‘NIRF ranked’ ‘NAAC accredited’ without mentioning the ‘rank’ or ‘grade’.
The Shark of all in the maze of misleading campaigns is ranking and awards by various local award-bestowing agencies, on a price. Some of them can give you whatever rank or award you want, based on the price they quote. Often these awards are ‘best emerging..most innovative..technology leader of the year.. and the like.
A few big universities but with very ordinary academic credentials have a Tv Advertisement model working fine for them. They dominate the Tv space by investing more annual budget in Tv Ads in comparison to spending on upgrading labs, running skill-based courses, spending on good quality faculty or research. By aggressive Tv campaigns, they succeed in making inroads into the innocent students’ psyche.
Don’t you think as a responsible citizen of this country, we have somewhere lost the meaning n’ responsibility towards our own children? Who will stem the rot? “We, the people..
Disclaimer: The views expressed are personal and not directed against any person or body, and purely meant to improve the system. I’m quite optimistic that the new NEP governance would protect the career interest of our students, for sure !
-Prof JR Sharma