The University Grants Commission has set a target to increase the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education to 30 per cent by 2020 from the present 25.4 per cent, UGC Chairman DP Singh said on Wednesday.

The UGC has also set certain objectives to improve the quality of higher education in institutions, he said.

“The number of students enrolled in higher education system has gone up to about 3.66 crore in 2017-18. The GER rose to 25.4 per cent in 2017-18, while the aim is to increase it to 30 per cent by 2020,” Singh told reporters here.

GER is the ratio of students enrolled in the age group of 18-23 years to the population in that age group.

Singh said the UGC has also recently chalked out some objectives for improving the quality of learning in higher education institutions (HEIs).

“The objectives include regular revision of curriculum with clearly specified learning outcomes and soft skills, enabling youth to secure access to employment/self-employment, developing social-industry connect, availability of motivated teachers and accreditation to ensure qualitative self-improvement in HEIs,” he said.

Research and innovation

He also informed that the UGC and the Ministry of Human Resources Development (HRD) recently organised a three- day national conference in Pune to discuss research and innovation in higher education and adopted 10 resolutions.

These include achieving the UGC quality mandate in universities and affiliated institutions by 2020, adopting and implementing learning outcome-based curriculum framework, enhancing research productivity and boosting vocationalisation of higher education by participating in the National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS).

The experts at the conference also stressed on the need to sensitise students and encourage them to participate in social/economic betterment of the community by adopting at least five villages under the Unnat Bharat Abhiyan, and to strive for smart and clean campus by 2020, the official said.