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Quantity over quality best describes Chennai when it comes to higher education. With several engineering colleges in and around the city and many new arts and science colleges cropping up, all those who want to get a degree can but a good college education is not assured. The city ranks third after Delhi and Pune for quality higher education in a quality of life survey conducted by IMRB and TOI.
We have some very good institutes for higher education such as the Indian Institute of Technology and Anna University. At the same time, many run-of-the-mill arts and science colleges are also located in and around the city. They are sure to discredit Chennai, said Shahul Hameed, a student of Guindy College of Engineering. Academics suggest that colleges in and around the city should be transparent about the infrastructure and the qualifications of teachers. This will encourage healthy competition among colleges and also make the public aware of the quality of the colleges, said educational consultant D Nedunchezhiyan. Some 20-year-old colleges have good infrastructure, but these are not made available to students at all hours as they are in Anna University or IIT. So, utilization of infrastructure is low, he said. Chennai also lags behind Delhi and Pune because of the lack of variety in higher education. While the city teems with engineering and arts and science colleges, few institutions offer offbeat and interesting courses. For example, National Institute of Fashion Technology is one of the few good institutions that offer courses in fashion designing. The city’s campuses are also not multi-cultural. Chennai colleges attract a lot of people from within the city. But, culturally we are not very open. People here still refuse to even learn Hindi, while it is spoken by the rest of the country. On the other hand, students from across the country apply to colleges in Pune and Delhi, said P Vishnucharan, who pursued higher education in Pune, and runs a school here. Colleges in the city can also be more liberal in encouraging creativity in students and allow them to experiment, said experts.
Courtesy: Times of India
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