By Dr. KJS Anand
After completing school, choosing the right college is one of the most important decisions that a student takes. The choice he/she makes at the time determines his/her whole future in terms of jobs, career growth and standard of life. College is not just a place to pursue higher education but it is a place where students have access to innumerable possibilities and they also get the right resources to realize their dreams. The right kind of college will help a student grow, enhance their personality, brush up their skills, provide them with a platform to exhibit their talent and above all, it provides them with quality education.
There are number of factors related to a college that contribute to the development of a student such as validity of degree, infrastructure, faculty, pedagogy, placements, and exposure to the professional world. Hence, when a student is looking for a college he/she should take into consideration certain points before enrolling into one. There are usually two options for students who are looking for college admission, government colleges and private colleges.
A lot of students prefer government colleges because of low fees, and a degree guaranteed by the government. However, unless one is studying in a highly reputed government institution, government colleges often lack in terms of infrastructure, regular access to faculty, help with placements and well-designed pedagogy among others. Government colleges do recruit highly-trained faculty but once recruited the faculty generally have a secure guarantee for a life-long job and are not motivated to improve in terms of their pedagogy and the support they offer to the students.
The administration in government colleges seldom improve infrastructure, student access to resources, pedagogy, offer support to students for placement purposes and so on. This is because of two reasons. First, to implement any policy or procedure in a government college, the administration requires government approval and given the rigid bureaucracy of the Indian governments, it is a very complex process which the college administration wishes to avoid. Second, the government colleges do not have any financial motivation to improve so as the government guarantees their operational costs.
Private colleges do not come with the assurances of government colleges but they provide the best platform for the students to explore their talent and have a holistic development, which would help them further professionally. As private colleges do not have the financial support of the government like government colleges, they have to charge much higher fees from the students. In order to attract the students, they need to prove themselves solely through what they can offer.
Thus, many private colleges generally offer excellent infrastructure facilities, regular access to all kinds of resources including faculty, innovative pedagogy, guest lectures, industrial visits and all possible help during placements to the students in hope of inducing students to enroll. While private colleges always do not recruit the best faculty, they motivate the faculty to do their best and offer them good career growth if they prove to be valuable to the institution. The rise through the ranks is easier for good, hard-working and motivated faculty in private colleges. It is easier for the administration of the private colleges to implement the policies and procedures they want as they do not have to go through the government bureaucratic structure like government colleges. However, the degree of a private college may/may not be recognized by the industry depending on various factors which can hamper a student’s professional growth irrespective of the quality of the education he/she has received in a private college.
It is in the above context that government-affiliated private colleges play a unique role as they combine the best of both government colleges and private colleges. They are not entirely private and are affiliated with government/public universities. While the degree they offer is backed by the government, they are free to implement most of their policies and procedures like private colleges. They have to meet their operational costs from students and hence, they offer the same advantages that many private colleges offer. They provide good infrastructure, access to all possible resources required for professional training, innovative pedagogy and best possible help during placements The students are provided with full support and guidance, which help in their holistic growth.
With a fast growing number of graduates competing for jobs in the market day by day, every student needs to have as much advantage as possible. In terms of their education, government affiliated private colleges offer them benefits of both government and private colleges. From providing summer internship, organizing educational workshops and inviting guest lecturers to providing best possible support for placements, these colleges help their students in every possible manner to make them ready for the professional world. Once a student completes his/her education from an institution like this, he/she gets degree from a public university, thus getting the best of both worlds.
(The author is Executive Director IMS NOIDA, one of the leading Management Institutes in the country.)