UoP introduces skill development courses to attract more PG students

Aug 14, 2014, 00:49 IST | Niranjan Medhekar

Concerned with the declining number of PG students, the university hopes industry training and an assurance of jobs will draw more students in

The curriculum has been designed with help from various industries, and industry-specific people will conduct visiting lectures,” Dr W N Gade, SPPU Vice-Chancellor told mid-day.

Savitribai Phule Pune University
The addition of the skills-based courses to postgraduate programmes at SPPU may be just what students need to survive in the competitive job market. File Pic

He added, “We are trying to tap into all booming sectors like banking, retail, services and computers. The MoU has a specific clause that states a 70 per cent assurance of getting a job, for students who successfully complete any of the industry courses during their two years of postgraduation.”

Dr W N Gade
Dr W N Gade, Vice-Chancellor of the university

If the opinion of working executives is any indication, the skills-based programme may be exactly what students need. Ketan Marne, who currently works at a multinational retail company, was amongst several professionals who did not opt for a PG degree because it just wasn’t enough.

“After completing my BA in Economics from Abasaheb Garware College in 2006, I had two choices. I could either take the traditional path and opt for an MA in Economics, or I could do a one-year diploma from a private university to acquire necessary skills to enter the service sector. I preferred the second option, and that’s why I have survived in this industry for the past seven years,” he said.

“I am happy to hear that, at last, Pune University is taking this much-awaited step, including skill-development courses at the postgraduate level,” Marne added. The USP of the courses is their short span, enabling students to complete them alongside their regular degree programme. The first phase will begin this month, with the introduction of the courses to the social science and pure science departments, while the pharmacy and engineering departments will follow in next semester.

The university has already been successfully running a credit system at the postgraduate level since the previous academic year, which will help to introduce the new skill-based courses. “There will be a total of four credits reserved for these courses. Apart from the degree programme, every student has to opt for, and successfully complete, a skill-development course, without which they will not receive the degree certificate,” said Dr Gautam Bhong, dean of mental, moral and social sciences faculty.

Bhong expects the addition of the skill-development programme will appeal to postgraduate students. “In the social sciences faculty, SPPU has a total of 250 PG centres in Pune, Ahmednagar and Nasik districts. These newly introduced courses will definitely get a good response from students, as it increases their chances of getting placed while completing their degrees,” he added.

If all goes well, the university has plans to introduce the skill-development programme at the undergraduate level as well, the next academic year onwards.

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