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After designer clothes and homes, it is time for a design-your-course curriculum. From July this year, Delhi University is likely to introduce a "meta college" that allows small batches of students to mix and match courses that interest them from options available in DU colleges as a pilot project. This will mean students are not bound to either the courses available in one college or even a discipline. For instance, a student can pick a major from a college, from the liberal arts stream and combine it with a pure science or commerce stream offered by another college.
The student will eligible to a certain number of credits in a 4 year course. The concept of a "meta college" sounds similar to the term metadata, often defined as "data about data". To some extent the principle of managing and organizing seemingly disparate information to build linkages and synergies is also the thinking behind the meta college. The HRD ministry has been in talks with major universities including DU to implement the meta college from the academic session beginning 2012.The courses will be taught through a combination of online teaching and actual class rooms with the student enrolled in a particular college. It will initially be offered only to limited number of students willing to experiment with their course curriculum. The concept aims to establish centres of inter-disciplinary research cutting across narrow academic boundaries and have been the preferred mode for promoting research. This will be introduced on an experimental basis in DU for now but could be replicated in Pune and Tamil Nadu.The needs for such options have been highlighted by planners stressing the need to develop lateral thinking skills. The establishment of a `meta-university' that attempts to breach institutional boundaries by creating a university in virtual space linking institutions of higher learning in physical space into a collaborative unit is also underway. A senior HRD official said JNU, IIT Delhi, DU and Jamia Milia Islamia were working towards a collaborative effort for a one year post graduate diploma in public health.All four institutes are expected to leverage their strengths to create courses that explore various aspects of public health including hospital management, dissemination of information on improved nutrition, dietary habits and sanitation. The meta-university has been envisaged as a global network of learning where the broadband backbone links institutions of excellence in specific fields of knowledge would provide the communication infrastructure, while the open-access movement and allied initiatives will form the knowledge base and content. The meta university will reinterpret the concept of a University as not just a traditional, physical space of learning, but as a repository of knowledge and information that can be delivered in multiple ways, and can be accessed from anywhere and anytime. A third concept that is also in the works is a masters degree in math education that will be prepared in collaboration between DU and Jamia. The degree will be for one year.
Courtesy: Times of India
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