In 2009 Central University of Kashmir (CUK) was established to serve as the pace setting university in the region. However, it has grown steadily during the years; still, much needs to be done to improve its visibility and perception at the national and international level. The total enrolment of students in CUK has crossed 3000 with 09 schools where undergraduate, postgraduate, diploma, and certificate courses are on offer. CUK has hired the services of very competent faculty belonging to different parts of the country, who offer a variety in pedagogical transactions. The students from other parts of the country joining CUK is also encouraging despite the fact of a bit tough atmosphere prevalent in the Valley. Even though CUK has a limited accessibility and infrastructure, students still strive hard and prefer to join CUK for higher studies, which is praiseworthy.
If we put some puzzles together, including a high reputation, CUK has some of the better academic offerings for India, like it is the only university in India to offer a course on Criminal Justice System. CUK intends to help every student attain professional development who becomes capable for a better job. The objective of CUK is to unlock new doors for a graduate as s/he is more competent, professional, and skilled. With top-tier faculty having limited resources, CUK has never-ending possibilities for students who want to make the most out of it. If students are ever wondering why to go to CUK over other available institutions, these unparalleled scholastic offerings are a good enough reason on their own. CUK graduates are getting adjusted within Jammu & Kashmir and outside with good packages as they have developed good understanding and competence in different disciples, communication, leadership, and problem-solving skills. The majority of CUK alumni is employed or has gone for further study.
CUK has the potential to enhance its success which is attributed to several factors: robust teaching-learning, research, evaluation system and mentoring mechanism. There is an established set of services available in CUK to support students, but a lot needs to be done to offer more support services for the fitness of studies at the campus.
The switch to university study, especially when living away from home, can significantly change the fortunes of many CUK students. If students need a bit of extra support in resolving academic or other allied issues, CUK shall think to evolve a Welfare System.
For those who face Specific Learning Difficulties, Ailed Mental Health Conditions, or Disabilities, CUK can come up with a vibrant system to identify and address such students.
CUK can also think of Extensive Student-Run Welfare Network as found in reputed foreign institutions. It requires having a welfare officer or team to provide support and advice to students. CUK could also assign CUK Parents (senior students/alumni) to new entrants to help them settle in. They can also provide support and advice to ensure all new students enjoy their time at the campus.
Attending a class physically on campus opens up new opportunities for students to get help. No matter what a student may need, there must be someone resourceful available in the campus who is able to help and who makes it easier for students to get a degree. CUK can even start Student Advice Service to provide students free, classified, and pragmatic advices. It will also help students across disciplines, from making friends to exams to welfare concerns to finance to getting job. It can play an important role in students’ decisions during university life, but those appointed as advisors should be professionally trained and passionate to help students achieve their goals.
CUK can also establish the Career Services Department on priority to help students find a job after completing the program. It should be given a task to train students to write attractive resumes, develop interview skills, and determine suitable potential and possible jobs in the competitive market. It should also be assigned to identify the best possible opportunities for internships before passing out.
The Library should not be considered just for checking out books. It is now thought of to have offered many online resources for teaching, learning, extension, and particularly research. Now a researcher can conduct his research without even stepping in the Library. I think, CUK needs to upgrade the Library; more references be kept available, and while making purchases for the library, students and scholars also need to be roped in. It is also high time that CUK may also offer more physical spaces/reading spaces for students/scholars to individualized study. In this part of the country, there is always an issue with internet connectivity, and CUK can ensure proper and uncut internet connectivity, making it easier to find relevant e-resources without wasting any time.
Physical bustle is a great stress buster. Although CUK has a Department of Physical Education where attending to gym is always a preference for students, but this recreational service is least available for students pursuing education in other campuses. This support service can also be extended to all campuses.
Hostel a significant student support service offers students security and saves time, and some critical qualities of teamwork, sense of unity, adjustment, cooperation, and empathy get developed. Thus, CUK can also arrange hostels for needy and deserving students.
Although CUK has carved its space in the region but for national/international recognition and enhancing its perception, exploring new subject areas is the need of the hour. CUK can potentially think to start the specialized undergraduate and postgraduate programs in a phased manner in some of the important areas like Aerospace Studies, Artificial Intelligence, Cannabis Science & Operations, Classical Mythology, Culinary Business Innovation, Cyber Security, Domain Space Studies, Electromagnetic Spectrum Studies, E-Sports for Fast-Growing Gaming Industry, Health Informatics, Law & Medicine, Meteorology, Practical Theology, Quantum Science, Science in Real Estate, Software Engineering, Sports Leadership & Recreation, Sustainable Agriculture, Talent Management & Human Resources, Teaching with Technology, Trauma Treatment, Veteran Studies.
Dr. Mohammad Sayid Bhat is Sr. Assistant Professor in Department of Education at Central University of Kashmir.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.