Goa University was established under the Goa University Act of 1984 (Act No. 7 of 1984) and commenced operations on 1 June 1985. The university provides higher education in the Indian state of Goa. It is located on Taleigao Plateau overlooking Zuari estuary on a picturesque campus spread over 402 acres with state-of-the-art infrastructure such as faculty blocks, administrative building, library, sports facilities, student hostels, bank, post-office, staff quarters, etc. Campus-Wide Internet connectivity with strong bandwidth is available for all 24 hours a day.
The University took over the enhanced role of Centre of Post-Graduate Instruction and Research (CPIR) which was set after the liberation of Goa by India in December 1961, by the University of Bombay (now Mumbai), in June 1962. Since 1985 Goa University offers graduate and post-graduate studies and research programmes. It is currently (2014-19) accredited to the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) in India with A Grade. The National Institutional Ranking Facility (NIRF) (an organ of Ministry of Human Resources and Development, Govt. of India) in its third cycle of ranking Indian Higher Educational Institutions in the year 2017, ranked Goa University at 68th rank among 3000+ institutions that participated from India.
Over the past 35 years, the University has steadily expanded its reach, both in terms of the number of affiliated colleges - professional and general education numbering to 56, as well as the diversity of courses offered. These colleges offer various courses leading to a degree at graduate, post-graduate level. 12 of them are also recognized as research centres to offer Ph.D. programmes. The University, on its campus, has 1 Centre, 20 Departments and 3 schools (Table 1). The formation of schools has been done at the start of the academic year 2019-20 with amalgamation of traditional departments to allow organic evolution of new courses. They offer programmes leading to Undergraduate degree (3), Masters degree (35), M.Phil.(20) and Ph.D. degree (25) in various disciplines. In addition, 8 recognised institutions in various disciplines situated in the state of Goa are also recognised for research programmes leading to Ph.D. degree by the University.
Table 1: Facultywise grouping of the Schools/Departments at the University
Over 30000 youth from all talukas of Goa are studying in affiliated colleges and over 2000 are enrolled for post-graduate programmes at the University campus. The percentage of women (over 60%) outnumber men (about 40%).
The University has made a significant impact at the national level in various areas of specialization and draws students in select disciplines from across the country. Geographically, Goa is located in an ecologically sensitive region along the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea. Goa University has appropriately emerged as an important resource centre for research in the field of flora and fauna endemic to this region, as well as the marine environment. The Ministry of Earth Sciences has recognized Goa University’s significant contribution in this domain, as a consequence of which a Centre of Excellence was established in Marine Microbiology. The Departments at the University have developed excellent research facilities. Large funding for research is received from Central Government agencies such as University Grants Commission, Department of Science & Technology, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Ministry of Environmental Sciences and Climate Change, Department of Biotechnology, etc. For a relatively small university, Goa University attracts generous funding of research projects from national funding agencies which reflects upon the high quality of research undertaken at the University. The research outcomes (over 4500) in the form of papers, theses, etc., have been made available to the public over the university website in its publications repository. The citation database such as Web of Science® reports over 1200 items on their database accruing over 15000 citations. The University publications have an h-index of 42.
In addition to the conventional graduate and postgraduate programmes, Goa University has also taken initiatives to provide innovative programmes. Some noteworthy initiatives are the National Resource Centre in Marine Science under the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) for the professional development of higher education using the MOOCs platform SWAYAM, the Study India Programme with Nihon University of Japan, etc. Goa University launched the Visiting Research Professors Programme (VRPP) from the year 2013-14 to bring luminaries in the field of liberal arts & literature, social and natural sciences, and other fields. The visiting professors interact with students, deliver lectures, offer courses, and work on collaborative research projects, or stimulate the creation of art installations and music performances with faculty and students. These visiting professors are found to generate a creative environment in learning and contemporary knowledge production practices with their intellectual and aesthetic endeavours. The programme is being supported by Directorate of Art and Culture, Government of Goa through generous grants and open to the general public too.