Higher Education In India- The Future Is Bright
India has the largest chunk of the world’s young population. Already, CEOs of companies like, Microsoft, Adobe, Google, etc., are the products of the education system of India. Institutes like NMIMS provide quality education in the country.
With the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) and the fourth industrial revolution, our learning methods are bound to change. There are going to be impacts of AI on traditional jobs. Learning methods will have to change and the need to remain up to date will rise. Thus, there is an urgent need for institutes to change with the changing horizon.
Challenges With The Indian Education Sector:
- The divergence between Market Demand and Curriculum: This is one of the major problems with the Indian education system. Earlier it was alright to keep the course unchanged over the years but now it is not at all feasible. Some institutes still follow this leading to unemployable graduates. Some institutes change their curricula according to the market but getting admission in them like NMIMS admission is not easy as they have limited seats.
- The quantity and quality of research: With the increase in research papers being published, the peer-review system is feeling the burden. This can, in turn, affect the quality of research. Another problem is that only 25 percent of research papers published are freely available online to read. The good news is that the quantity of research done in India has increased over the years.
- Lack of skilled faculty: There are a large number of vacancies for the post of teachers in Indian Universities that remain unfilled. Teachers are also less skilled than required. The upskilling, that is required to be done by the teachers is also often not done. This also leads to students getting inappropriately trained.
- Lack of funding alternatives: There is a lack of funding for most business schools and engineering colleges that also causes a decline in quality research. The major source of funding for colleges is fees charged from students like NMIMS fees, as public funding is not enough most of the time.
Reforms Needed In The Education System:
- Structural and learning reforms: The Indian education system requires a transformation into a more targeted and learner-oriented education model. There is a need for accelerating the performance of the higher education sector so that market demands are met and it becomes more accessible as well.
- Create a broader education ecosystem: The various components of higher education; institutions, regulatory and accreditation agencies, students, alumni, and governments; operate independently, leading to operational barriers. There is a need for a broader education system that takes the industry and all the components of education together. Businesses can help institutes in designing an appropriate curriculum as well. This is not easy and immense coordination is required.
- Make the students Job-ready yet learned: Students often focus just on placements and study likewise leading to a lack of learning many times, which can lead to an unsustainable career trajectory. There is a need to strike a balance between learning and employment opportunities. Skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, communication skills, etc, should be included in the curriculum.
Educational institutions like NMIMS can adopt the “Experiential University” model in which classroom learning and work goes hand in hand, leading to better learning for students and employees for companies.
- Expand online education: E-learning is on the rise especially after the COVID-19 Institutions can provide an online platform for continual learning throughout a student’s lifetime. Students can pay a fee and upskill themselves whenever required.
- Improve funding and cut costs: Alumni must be tapped in for funding. Providing courses to the public can also lead to revenue generation; all the while teaching those that require it. Thus, those that could not secure NMIMS admission, could still learn from their faculty.
The Indian higher education sector is transforming. Students want to upskill themselves so that they are job-ready, while employers want intelligent students. Still, there is a gap between talent demand and talent supply. This is mostly due to the disconnect between educational institutions and industry.
With the rise of e-learning, educational institutions need to provide students with better faculty and devise innovative methods of funding. All this can be achieved by working in tandem with the industry and regulators, leading to a rise in the quality of education overall.