Improving access to higher education, especially in rural areas, will be the priority of the Tamil Nadu State Council of Higher Education, said professor Cynthia Pandian, after she assumed charge as vice-chairperson of the council. She takes over from A Ramasamy, who resigned from the post and was relieved from duty in December 2011.
Speaking to reporters , she said, “There is a lack of motivation to pursue higher education among many first generation learners. Uneducated parents don’t know the worth of getting a higher education.” She said that to change this situation, school teachers should take the responsibility of advising students on choosing appropriate careers and encouraging them to go to college. She stressed the need for more colleges, post graduation centres and state universities.
She also spoke about the need for developing the skills of arts and science students. “Few arts and science graduates get employment relevant to their educational qualification. Around 30% to 40% of these graduates are underemployed, while engineering graduates are somehow able to settle down in relevant jobs.” She said this called for improving skills of arts and science graduates.