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Introduction

UGC-Academic Staff College

Drawing inspiration from the achievements of ‘Staff Development Programmes’ paradigm in various parts of the globe, the UGC in pursuance of the National Policy on Education, NPE–1986, launched the Academic Staff Colleges scheme in 1987, to ensure quality in higher education in the country.  

The Academic Staff College at Jamia Millia Islamia was established in 1987 with financial assistance from the UGC. Ever since then the UGC Staff College at Jamia Millia Islamia has set out to steadily blossom into a front running professional development academic unit in the country catering to the academic requirements ofthe College and University teachers and administrative staff in academic institutions from across the country. True to its mandate, the ASC has successfullygenerated an understanding among the college and university teachers of the environment they are working in, besides deeper insights into the pedagogy and psychology of learning in order to equip them communicate more effectively with the young students.  

The Academic Staff College caters to the needs of teachers, administrative and support staff of the colleges and universities including research scholars. Apart from Orientation Programmes and Refresher Courses in various academic disciplines, ASCs have the mandate to conduct a variety of academic programmes such as Workshops for Principals/Deans and Heads, Professional Development Programmes for senior faculty and administrative and support staff of higher education. The ASC also conducts Interaction Programmes for research scholars. Organizing Seminars /Workshops/Symposia has also become an integral part of the Academic Staff College in recent years. 

Objectives of the ASC

The College organizes two major types of in-service faculty training programmes viz. general Orientation Courses and subject specific Refresher Courses. The Orientation Courses are of 4-weeks duration and Refresher Courses in various disciplines are of 3-weeks duration.

The Orientation Programmes broadly serve the following objectives:

i)       Sensitize the College and University teachers about the linkages between education and society;

ii)      Help teachers acquire/sharpen basic skills of teaching to promote effective teaching-learning processes in the classroom;

iii)     Encourage and guide the teachers to develop healthy personality;

iv)     Make them appreciate the issues involved in the management of colleges and universities; and

v)      Motivate them to undertake extension services including student counseling.

The Refresher Courses are organized with the underlying objective to help college and university teachers remain updated with the developments in their respective subject fields with a view to prepare them to undertake quality research. Besides, the UGC-ASC at Jamia also conducts short term orientation programmes for college principals and need-based courses and workshops for teachers in areas of their professional interest.  

A very distinct feature of the UGC-ASC is its four week Orientation Programme for Academic Administrative officers of Indian universities. The success story of the performance and quality of the UGC-ASC at Jamia Millia Islamia is reflected in the steady increase in the number of participants as well as number of programmes every year in the past two decades.

Some of the innovative practices in the ASC introduced as part of its training and professional development strategies include, practice in writing book reviews/ review articles, preparing research proposals for commissioned research projects; writing of seminar papers and presenting the same in seminars organized during each course duration under the guidance and supervision of senior resource persons; developing action research proposals; and preparing technology based lessons and presenting them during peer teaching.  

Participants are also provided training in the proper use of library resources, computers and internet applications. Besides regular lectures, team teaching, panel discussions, group discussions, workshops, extempore debates and site lectures outside the Academic Staff College also form part of its activities. Subject upgradation of the participants through their interaction with the faculty of the respective departments of studies in the Jamia is yet another strategy to ensure academic upgradation.

Activity oriented participatory approach of communication is the guiding spirit of UGC-ASC, Jamia Millia Islamia. 

Further, the ASC provides with quality reading material especially peer recommended books and lists of readings based on the lectures and other related published works. Intra-group cultural activities are another feature during each programme in order to promote cultural pluralism among the faculty.