Vision, Roles & Responsibility of West Bengal State Council of Higher Education

The vision of the Council is to strive for equity, expansion and excellence in higher education and research to make our State a knowledge society.
Equity: In respect to equity, the Government passed the OBC Reservation Bill mandating reservation of 17% seats in all state aided higher education institute to OBCs. Several colleges for girls have been established besides eastern India's first Women's University at Diamond Harbour.
Expansion: The Government is in expansion mode right now. Twenty-three new degree colleges are underway. One state-private university has been set up in the academic session 2014-15 and few more are to come up shortly.

  • Make provision to provide opportunities for higher education for all those seeking such education.
  • To achieve the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) target of 25.2% by the end of 12th Plan and 32% by the end of 13th plan, the present GER in WB is 15.2%.
  • Promote the establishment of private degree awarding institutions, subject to fulfilment of quality and accreditation requirements. The state's private universities, first of their kind, are expected to commence operation shortly.
  • Promote a scheme of lateral entry to university education.
  • Establish multiple modes of delivery in the higher education sector including quality distance and on-line learning to increase GER in higher education.
  • Facilitate effective counselling for students at +2 level to enable them to choose the programme based on their merit, aptitude and choice and thereby to decrease drop-out rate.

Excellence: The WBSCHE, set up in 1994, as per the WBSCHE Act 1994 and subsequently modified in 2015 has been appointed by the National Board of Accreditation (NBA) as its nodal centre for West Bengal, Bihar and North-East states for mandatory accreditation of HE institutions starting from those imparting professional courses.

  • To bring uniformity in the academic calendar across the state-wide universities and HEIs.
  • To bring uniformity in the syllabi of different subjects across the state-wide universities and HEIs. The linkage would be of great help in conducting common admission test and also make it possible for faculty and student exchange programme.
  • Introduce student and faculty exchange programme, both nationally and internationally, in collaboration with government, non-government organizations and industry.
  • Implementation of Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) across all the Universities and colleges in West Bengal to offer enough room for flexibility in the choice of selection of subjects, and to make evaluation in terms of Grades at par with the global standards. To make special provision for integrated courses for humanities, social sciences, sciences and technology in its educational programme. Offer multi-disciplinary programmes of study at UG, PG level on the comprehensive CBCS. In the long term, credit portability can be extended across the regional and national institutes of eminence. Maintain optimum teacher-student ratio to make the CBC system effective. For the same, the vacant positions in colleges and universities are to be filled by regular faculty.
  • To introduce a chapter/subject on overview of financial markets & institutions and Public Administration at the upper secondary/higher secondary level as a part of our endeavour to spread basic education and awareness on financial system and public administration its offshoots.
  • Introduction of a State-wide Educational Management Information System (EMIS) in an attempt to establish a regularly updated, integrated information system from the entire higher education system and make institutional resources available on public domain (internet) for free access. Details of faculty resource, expertise available, courses available, facilities for M.Phil and Ph.D. programme, events and notifications across all the universities and colleges should be enlisted as a first step towards our vision of knowledge society. It will also be helpful for faculty and student exchange programme, education research, collaboration, consultancy and extension programme.
  • Provide all facilities to develop universities and PG Institutions as centres of excellence. Establish a few Centres of Excellence in frontier areas of emerging disciplines in each university, which should be kept open for students, faculty and scholars from other institutions.
  • Design the curriculum content of academic programmes so as to provide sufficient opportunities for practical experience in skills of problem solving required for working the relevant profession/ occupation. Encourage HEIs to achieve right balance between job oriented and academically oriented courses. Professional career continuum with competitive compensation.
  • Bridging the gap between school education and higher education by establishing forward and backward linkages with secondary education and job markets as a part of a 'cradle to career path' initiatives and also to introduce a career guidance network/cell. It has not always resulted in the increase in the gross enrolment ratio for higher education nor has it reduced the entry-level barriers to higher education. Contrary to this problem is that of benchmarking and gradation. Promote linkages among the universities, professional bodies and technical and vocational education institutions.
  • Preparing proposals 'Earning while Learning' scheme to motivate more students to pursue higher education.
  • Promote linkages among higher education institutes and industry, services and other sectors in order to widen the opportunities for employment of graduates.
  • Training UG and PG students in independent learning and critical thinking through promotion of research.
  • Offer incentives for academics to remain engaged in research work throughout their career. Another possibility is to provide special incentives for research, especially of the collaborative variety where multiple institutions can come together and depute, employ members from such institutions to participate in large-scale research programmes.
  • Research mentoring for teachers.
  • We need to provide our students with citizenship training and various soft skills for functioning in the modern world. A skills university/finishing school be established with branches in all district HQs of the State.
  • Encourage HEIs to be more responsive to the need of community and industry in developing new courses, modifying existing courses and identifying research priorities.
  • Higher education with an orientation towards production and application of new knowledge. This could result in research-curriculum integration. Develop a strong research profile as also develop a portfolio of community-oriented services, link up with industries and corporate houses and provide employment opportunities for graduates who would want to enter the teaching profession.
  • Intensify the facility of ICT infrastructure and give access to it to teachers and students as basic educational facility. Make technologies like broadband connectivity, internet access, computer access absolutely universal to improve global information access.
  • Introduction of academic and administrative audit of higher education institutes. Regular peer review and academic audit should be made mandatory.