Preparations are afoot to hold a two-day conference on higher education at Raj Bhavan on September 21 and 22. Over 200 academics, including vice-chancellors, pro-VCs, registrars, deans, financial advisers and examination controllers of all the universities of the state will attend the conference. According to a notification issued from the governor’s secretariat, eminent academics from different parts of the country would discuss topics like the role of institutional leadership in quality assurance, academic leadership and governance, vocational education, examination reforms, distance education and Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA). It is expected that the conference would provide an opportunity for capacity building and for gaining experience by the faculty and students of the state universities. Governor-cum-chancellor D Y Patil will inaugurate the conference on September 21. Chief minister Nitish Kumar, education minister P K Shahi and senior officials of the state education department would address the conference. The conference gains considerable importance in view of the recent steps initiated both by the chancellor as well as the state government for bringing in qualitative improvement in the field of higher education. The constitution of search committee for appointment of new vice-chancellors and pro-VCs in different universities of the state is already in progress. The state government has recently constituted a four-member committee headed by eminent educationist and founder VC of National Law School of India, Bangalore, N R Madhava Menon to draft a model Act for the universities of the state. Other members of the committee are Chanakya National Law University VC A Lakhminath, higher education special secretary Sanjiwan Sinha and Maulana Mazharul Haq Arabic and Persian University registrar. The model Act would incorporate several measures for improving the working of the universities and raising the standard of higher education in the state. The first meeting of the committee is likely to be held on September 17, said Sinha, a member of the committee.