New Delhi: Over 4,300 industry experts and professionals have shown interest in the newly proposed category of college teachers known as “professors of practice.” This innovative initiative, introduced by the higher education regulator and backed by the National Education Policy 2020, aims to bridge the gap between academia and industry. According to a top official, around 140 higher education institutions have also expressed their enthusiasm to engage these experts, highlighting the growing popularity of the concept.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) launched a dedicated portal on May 16 to facilitate the hiring process for experienced professionals in various domains. The response has been remarkable, with thousands of experts and professionals registering on the platform. Notably, individuals from diverse fields such as engineering, science, technology, entrepreneurship, commerce, social sciences, media, and literature have eagerly joined the pool of potential candidates.
UGC Chairperson M Jagadesh Kumar emphasized the significance of professors of practice, stating that many universities and colleges are already appointing these experts. Kumar believes that this presents a golden opportunity for professionals to mentor and train students in higher education institutions (HEIs). Furthermore, the professor of practice scheme can foster fruitful collaborations between academia and industry. In support of this concept, the UGC has proactively reached out to industry bodies, actively promoting the engagement of professors of practice.
The UGC now aims to analyze the registered data to gain insights into the types of professionals applying for these teaching positions. Additionally, they will ensure that all applicants meet the required criteria by implementing automatic filters, including years of experience, to prevent ineligible individuals from registering.
In a positive development, numerous institutions have started advertising vacancies for professors of practice on the UGC portal. For instance, Government Degree College in Andhra Pradesh seeks a professor of practice in entrepreneurship, while MVN University in Haryana has posted four vacancies in public health and legal fields. The advantage for registered experts is that they can directly apply to these advertised positions without having to search through individual university portals.
As the concept of professors of practice gains momentum across the country, it holds immense potential for strengthening the connection between academia and industry. By leveraging the expertise of seasoned professionals with a minimum of 15 years of proven experience, higher education institutions can enhance their teaching quality and provide students with real-world insights. This innovative approach is set to shape the future of education in India, empowering students with the practical skills they need to excel in their chosen fields.