Adopt ‘professors of practice' guidelines, UGC asks Universities

'NEP-2020 recommends imparting holistic and multidisciplinary education in Higher Educational Institutions'
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Srinagar: Invoking recommendations of National Education Policy (NEP)-2020, the University Grants Commission (UGC) on Monday asked Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to take necessary steps to engage professionals and industry experts as ‘professors of practice’ in their respective institutes.

In a letter addressed to all the Vice Chancellors of Universities and principals of all colleges the UGC Secretary has said that one of the recommendations of NEP-2020 was to impart holistic and multidisciplinary education in higher educational institutions.

"This may require the participation of experienced practitioners/professionals/industry experts in the teaching-learning process," the letter reads, adding that to enable HEIs to hire professional experts the UGC has created a new position called “Professor of Practice” and already published the guidelines for engaging Professor of Practice.

Notably, the higher education regulator in August approved the draft guidelines for engaging ‘professors of practice’ in Universities and Colleges.

According to the guidelines, those eligible to be engaged as ‘professor of practice’ include distinguished experts who have made remarkable contributions in their professions from various fields such as engineering, science, technology, entrepreneurship, commerce, social sciences, media, literature, fine arts, civil services, armed forces, the legal profession and public administration among others.

Meanwhile, the VCs of the Universities and Principals of Colleges have been asked to initiate steps to make necessary changes in their statutes, ordinances, rules and regulations to enable the engagement of 'Professors of Practice in their institutions.

"An action taken in the matter should be uploaded in the university activity monitoring portal of UGC,” the letter reads.

Notably, the ‘professor of practice’ position will provide a unique opportunity for educational institutes to bring diverse skills to complement the efforts of faculty members of the institutions.

The move is aimed to attract people with experience from the industry and other professions to be mentors to the students.

As per the guidelines, the maximum duration of service of a professor of practice at a given institution should not exceed three years and is extendable by one year in exceptional cases and the total service should not exceed four years under any circumstances.

“The term of experts hired by the University and Colleges will be for a maximum of three years which is extendable by one year," read the guidelines, adding that at any point, the number of these experts in an institute should not exceed 10 percent of the sanctioned posts.

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