In the last few 7-to-8 years, many private engineering colleges/universities in different states of India are permanently closed or at present in the closing stage due to their very poor revenue generation and overall loss. Adding to it, the COVID-19 pandemic made the situation very tough.
So, what are the real facts behind poor revenue generation and how to convert it into profit? This particular question is not only about the generation of revenue, but it is related to enhancing employability in our future engineers, thus making our country a much stronger and favourable situation.
Let us discuss: There are many core reasons behind poor revenue generation, the most important are as follows:
Student’s Admission: Many private engineering colleges/universities are not able to attract students; that is, they have very less admission in different branches/departments (except in computer science engineering branch/department) of engineering degree courses, and year-by-year, this number of admissions are getting down.
Academic Standards: Many private engineering colleges/universities used to deliver poor academic standards to their students because they lack in qualified and experienced teachers in different branches of engineering degree courses, including in the computer science engineering department; lack of teachers who are experts in the delivery of academic (subject-related) knowledge to their students in an effective manner; and lack of proper and effective lab sessions of different subjects for engineering degree students—in major cases only basic formalities are there to complete lab syllabus.
Academics and their effective delivery by teachers are the essential part of the positive branding of any particular private engineering college/university. Most importantly, it is directly related to the admission of students to this private engineering college/university
Un-employable Students: Many private engineering colleges/universities produce engineering students who are just ‘engineering degree holders’ from any particular branch of engineering but are not employable. They lack the required knowledge to get a good job these days. In very short, many engineering students are just engineering degree holders without a sound understanding of fundamental subjects; but note that, in many cases, they are passing out with very good marks/grades from their university.
In our country, under our Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s firm guidance, we can establish all these private engineering colleges/universities again by strongly focusing on the following three areas: Improving Students Admission, Improving Academic Standard and Generating better Job opportunities for engineering students.
Must note that these three points strongly depend upon each other; focus equally on each area. These three points are joint efforts of college top management and staff like director, teaching staff, and non-teaching staff.
IMPROVE ADMISSION NUMBERS
Admission of students in any branch of engineering course mainly depends upon the academic standard for students, and the opportunities of job placements after the 4 years of academics of students will go over. All activities inside these two points are tightly interdependent. So, to revive from the current poor situations of student admissions, private engineering colleges/universities must be strong in all these areas for sure.
In the initial revival stage, the management team of a private engineering college/university should make a concrete plan to attract students willing to study engineering courses rather than just wait for school topper students to take admissions in their private engineering college/university.
By providing better and planned academics to students, private college/universities with the help of its qualified and experienced teachers can shine the knowledge of its students, and then finally place them in better public/private companies with better job roles and better CTC. Students, if satisfied by the academics and placement of any particular engineering college/university; will surely do best mouth advertisement for their college/university. Admission of students will surely improve year by year.
IMPROVE ACADEMIC STANDARD
Academics (especially course subjects and lab sessions) and their effective delivery by teachers are the essential part of the positive branding of any particular private engineering college/university. Most importantly, it is directly related to the admission of students to this private engineering college/university. So, to revive all private engineering colleges/universities it needs to perform best in every aspect of academics and its effective delivery to its students. Otherwise, it will reduce the number of students admitted. Also, the prospective job placements of students depend upon the academic standard of the college/university through its qualified and experienced teachers—because only this can fill students’ minds with all fundamental subject knowledge, which is highly required to crack good job placement interviews.
Facts Behind Poor Academic Standards
Many private engineering colleges are affiliated with any Government university. Due to affiliation, all these private colleges are bound with the syllabus provided by their concerned universities. In many cases, the syllabus of engineering courses is not good enough, and thus it is not supporting students to get a good job. So, the direct impact is that only a few good private engineering colleges/universities with good name-fame can fill their engineering seats while engineering colleges/universities with average name-fame are struggling for student’s admissions and colleges/universities with less name-fame are on sale.
Apart from internal examinations, it has been observed that the level of external examinations is also not as it should be, thus, producing non-employable engineering students. It also required effective changes. The syllabus should be minimised from the engineering course’s 4th year
Due to the poor academic syllabus of engineering courses, many students prefer to take admission in any private university rather than any private engineering college. Students feel that private universities can develop their own improved and up-to-date course syllabus based on Industry’s current demand, which will surely help them place them in a job easily. But again, the major focus of the maximum private university is only on “maximum admission of students; and not on the academic growth of students”.
It has been frequently observed that maximum private universities are mainly busy fulfilling Government norms like ‘regarding the number of faculty, ‘their qualifications’, et cetera to run different engineering degree courses; means they just try (and busy with) to fulfil the required norms. Due to this practice, private universities, as well as private engineering colleges, generally hire faculty “based on their degree(s)”; and “not based on their passion for teaching”. Note that, in India, “degree holder faculty is everywhere, but there is a great lack of knowledgeable faculty who can brush the knowledge of students at their level”. In short, there is a lack of academic standards in the engineering stream in maximum cases, especially in private engineering colleges/universities.
Also, the fundamental knowledge of core engineering subjects are lacking in the maximum number of students of engineering streams.
MAJOR OBSERVATIONS OF ENGINEERING DEGREE SYLLABUS
It has been observed that:
- Major important subjects of almost all engineering streams are taught to students in the first three years of the degree course, that is, in 1st, 2nd, 3rd years, and not in 4th year; and
- Students’ passing percentage in the 4th year of engineering course is much higher than that of 1st, 2nd, or 3rd.
PLAN & APPROACH TO REMOVE UNEMPLOYMENT
Core engineering subjects should always be in the syllabus of all engineering branches within 1st to 3rd years even if the passing percentage in these subjects is low. Like, in B. Tech. The Computer Science/Information Technology/Cyber Security engineering course must contain core subjects named Automata Theory, Compiler Construction, Design & Analysis of Algorithms, et cetera. The same practise should be followed for other engineering streams like Electronics Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, et cetera. Similarly, subjects with little or no importance must be eliminated from the syllabus of different branches of engineering courses. In short, a very strict analysis of the syllabus, as required in present days, must be done”. A better syllabus of engineering subjects can produce very knowledgeable students who are really employable as concerned industries require. Lab sessions must be taken very-very seriously by engineering students and teachers.
Internal examinations for every engineering subject must be taken from students in a very-very serious and strict manner, including its Marking. It is one of the major points that maximum private engineering colleges and private universities almost lack. In maximum private engineering colleges (as well as in private universities), students take internal examinations for granted; even somewhere, it has been observed that students strongly believe that it is the responsibility of faculty members to give them very good internal marks in their internal examinations without making any academic efforts for it. So, to revive, it is the responsibility of all such private engineering colleges and universities to stop such practice immediately. The internal examinations of students must be of a better level. It creates a competitive environment among students, as they need to do hard labour to get each and every mark. Private college/university shouldn’t just aim to pass every student at any cost. The strict internal examination process attracts laborious students towards private engineering college/university. No need to mention that “with a team of laborious students, engineering college/university can reach a new height; off course speed is little bit slowly; but a positive result is for sure”. Students must be encouraged to study engineering subjects properly and do lots of practice to obtain better marks in internal and external examinations. In this way, students who will pass the engineering course will be perfectly employable in their concerned industry.
Apart from internal examinations, it has been observed that the level of external examinations is also not as it should be, thus, producing non-employable engineering students. It also required effective changes. The syllabus should be minimised from the engineering course’s 4th year (7th & 8th semesters). Students should be taught fewer subjects and taught only those subjects in demand as per job requirements in different industries. Now, from the 7th semester, final year students can be divided into the following groups:
Group 1: Students who want to do a job after passing out in their engineering stream or concern area;
Group 2: Students who want to do further education like the master of technology from IIT or similar reputed institute; and
Group 3: Students who want to appear in competitive examinations, like GATE, NET, DRDO, BARC, IES, et cetera after completing their engineering degree.
Now private colleges/universities must plan to provide all help and academic resources, such as qualified and experienced teachers who can help students to prepare for different tests, to these student groups. This ultimate step will provide ultimate benefits to engineering students and private engineering college/university.
For group-2 and group-3 students, the direct benefit is that, at the end of engineering degree course (or, nearby to complete 4th year), the probability is very high that students will get success with very good rank in examinations like IES, DRDO, BARC, GATE, NET, et cetera; and thus they will get very good job profile in public as well as in private sectors. Also, interested students can get admission in IIT/NIT for continuing further education after scoring well in the GATE examination. It directly has very positive impacts on the placement of students and the branding of private engineering colleges/universities. Passing scores of such students in any of these examinations produces valuable data that will be very helpful in making the brand value of engineering colleges/universities that are struggling for admissions of students in present days, as these success data directly support the admission of students strongly.
For group-1 students, apart from different subjects of 4th year, teachers should help students to prepare for jobs of different concern companies. As a result, after getting all necessary quality educations, students will get good jobs in their concern or related Industry. There is no need to mention that it directly improves placement and, therefore, admission to a private engineering college/university.
It is also observed that long class periods and short semesters are much better than short class periods and long semesters. Same as an unbeatable new education policy 2020, a humble request to the Government of India is to publish an excellent and helpful guideline for the revival of the engineering degree course in India.