Sunday, July 11, 2010

Autonomy at St. Xavier's, Mumbai

Here's an interview with Fr Frazer Mascarenhas, Principal, St. Xavier's College, Mumbai, which became an "autonomous college" recently:

Why is autonomy important for a college?

In India, we follow the old British system where the university controls more than 600 institutions, all of which are very different. But, all of them use the same syllabus and the same examination system. Owing to the large numbers, we have to standardise the examinations so that different types of students and faculties work toward the same exams. A lot of opportunity for more individualised instruction and evaluation is lost. It’s not a good system, and the Indian academia knows it. Under autonomous status, we are still under the university, which will give the degree, but, we are free to design our own courses, set our own syllabi and evaluating system. It means freedom.


  1. Yayaver said...

    Way to go..

  2. L said...

    It's a double edged sword. The autonomous colleges can teach as little as they want. There is a very loose oversight by the university. They usually follow an internal assessment system too. In many cases, the internal assessment is subjective. In many cases the lecturer feels a student is frivolous, since he/she(usually she)dresses in a certain way and does not give them the marks they deserve.A low neckline can cost you a lot of marks. In affiliated colleges, it happens only with the practicals. In autonomous colleges, it will happen with all marks. For autonomy and internal assessments to be the preferred alternative, we need mature faculty, and mature college managements.That is rare.

  3. Alan said...

    Well I am a student of the autonomous batch, and i must say they have done an excellent job. Vastly improved syllabus and dedicated teachers in most departments. What L pointed out certainly doesn't happen in St. Xavier's atleast.