Industry experts to be hired as professors in Colleges and Universities
The University Grants Commission (UGC) in a major move has approved a proposal to allow industry experts to teach in universities and colleges. The regulator in March said it was considering bringing such a provision. Earlier, PhD used to be a mandatory requirement to teach in Colleges and Universities.
Industry experts will be hired under a new category of faculty positions called professors of practice, in addition to the sanctioned posts of regular faculty.
As per UGC, the professors of practice will be hired for a fixed term of not more than four years, and their strength cannot exceed 10% of the sanctioned faculty posts at any given time.
UGC Chairman M. Jagadesh Kumar said that the provision is a part of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 implementation, which focuses on skill- based education to meet needs of industry and economy.
He also added that, “It will enable higher education institutions to formally associate with persons of eminence and encourage them to participate in experiential learning, research, training, skilling, entrepreneurship and extension and to play a mentoring role.”
As per the guidelines, Industry experts in fields from various fields such as engineering, science, technology, entrepreneurship, commerce, social sciences, media, literature, fine arts, civil services, armed forces, legal profession and public administration will be able to teach in colleges and universities even if they don’t hold a PhD degree or are not NET qualified. However, experts with proven expertise of at least 15 years will be eligible for the posts. The posts will not be open for those already in the teaching profession.
The professors of practice will be engaged under three categories – funded by industries, funded by higher education institutions, or honorary. Under the first category, the institutions may collaborate with industry to support the positions. Under the second category, institutes will have to pay the professors from their own resources. Under the third category, the institutions may decide on the amount of honorarium from their own resources, said in the guidelines