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Future Of Higher Education In India

The education fraternity needs to collaborate with thought leaders and industry experts to form new strategies that can uplift the education system from its traditional roots to a new era of excellence

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India is a country on the rise, and the trajectory has been set for it to get a seat among the major powers of the world. In every sector, the country has time and again shown to be a reliable player. Whether we look at the automobile industry or e-commerce, industries have witnessed tremendous advancements in the recent past. In this new age of innovation, India needs to strengthen its foundations to continue the success it is currently enjoying. One of the core foundations that India needs to improve is its education sector. It has a population of 1.21 billion with 315 million students. When we take a closer look at the disparity between the number of eligible students and the ones who are currently perusing higher education, the figures are discouraging. Higher education institutions seem to have failed to inspire students to pursue further studies. The education system has fallen short of finding effective avenues to draw a picture of how beneficial higher education could be to climb the ladder in the Indian society.

The Indian education system is moving in the right direction but it needs a push. The education fraternity needs to collaborate with thought leaders and industry experts to form new strategies that can uplift the education system from its traditional roots to a new era of excellence. There are many ways to accomplish this task, but it needs to be a community effort, with all stakeholders participating to conceptualise a blueprint that redefines education in India. There are a few ways to achieve this objective, but few crucial steps need to be the bedrock of this new system.

Highlighting the importance of Non-STEM education

The Indian educational landscape is evolving rapidly and has been for a long time. This is very clear in many areas but it is never more significant than the rise in prominence of non-STEM education. It is an open secret that the Indian public has long favoured STEM subjects as the only legitimate course to a successful career path, but this has changed in the past decade. More and more students are opting for non-STEM subjects, choosing to complete their masters in design, arts, liberal arts, liberal education, humanities, social sciences, architecture, media and communication, and economics among others. It paints a bright future for an Indian education system that is not fixated on a future that only caters to STEM education. A latest research has shown that non-STEM courses have a high placement percentage in hotel management, applied arts and crafts. Indian education system will finally focus on creating skilled individuals who can lead the tide of change in all spheres of life. 

Implementing technology to suit the pedagogy

One of the main aspects of utilising technology in education is to understand how it fits within a structure of the entire education model. When new technology is used in the primitive classroom model, it may spell disaster for the whole education system. If an institute has all the latest equipment and gadgets, but the technology does not contribute to enriching learning experience, it’s not a worthwhile investment. Implementing technology in pedagogy can only be possible if the new educational model is re-structured around an interactive and dynamic environment that technology can provide. Teaching style plays a crucial role in making technology relevant in the classroom. Education technology that has been implemented needs to apply to what the learners require and within their preferred styles.

Student feedback is a vital method for a better learning experience

Educators around the world have assumed that they have all the answers when it comes to education policies and knowledge application techniques. Slowly they have realised the flaw in the system. During the process of implementing, few key players are left out of the equation, mainly students and their parents. As more and more institutions realise the need to keep pace with the rapidly changing education domain, they need new ideas and better data on the shortcomings of the current policies. Student and parent feedback have proved to be crucial aspects that have shown promising results. Most educators are trying to find the source for immediate feedback in areas of improvement, and they are working towards creating a roadmap to make real-time changes. Acquiring feedback from students has a long list of advantages for education institutions. Few institutions have taken the first step of implementing robust technology to get student feedback in real time and make the necessary changes, hence keeping them ahead of the curve. 

A promising future on the horizon for the youth of the nation

At this juncture, we have the unique opportunity to make a difference and inspire a new generation of young minds.  We need to move away from rewarding rote learning and replace it with a new system that encourages high expectations for success while celebrates individual differences and learning styles. With the emergence of new-age schools, it has become a real possibility in India. The country has begun to explore the benefits of new pedagogical approaches, assisted by digital technologies. It is a process that has yielded many results and transformed today's learning environments. Schools that do not follow the traditional curriculum have been more effective in meeting community expectations and managing educational resources more efficiently.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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Shekhar A Bhattacharjee

The author is Founder and CEO, Great Place to Study

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