The National Education Policy (NEP) is an impressive document. In the past few days, the Indian government has approved the new education policy. It would help to deliver a school curricular more that’s more flexible and multidisciplinary, and less exam-focused.
Among all the notable features, the report focuses on universities as sites for student development, calls for multidisciplinary approaches that combine physical, emotional, moral, social, intellectual and aesthetic learning and seeks to break down the distinction between “curricular” and “extra- curricular” activities, for example via internships and community-related work.
What’s the Policy about?
The purpose of quality higher education is thus more than the creation of greater opportunities for individual employees. It represents the key to more vibrant, socially engaged, cooperative communities and a happier, cohesive, cultured, productive, innovative, progressive, and thus makes India a prosperous nation; building on all these visions, the National Education Policy sets out a series of changes to university education in the country. These include firstly establishing a single national regulatory body to oversee all aspects of university functioning, secondly, setting up a National Research Foundation, thirdly, introducing four- year multidisciplinary degree courses with multiple exit options (after one, two, three or four years), fourthly, encouraging internationalization, for example through allowing foreign universities to operate in India, and lastly, developing a set of elite multidisciplinary universities geared towards achieving the standing of Ivy League institutions in the US. The National Education Policy sees India as becoming a “World Teacher”, as stated in “The Conversation”.
There are many issues to think about concerning implementation. Moreover, the process through which universities that currently works in specialist areas transition to become fully multidisciplinary institutions will perhaps be a little difficult. The National Education Policy will require careful discussions with the state governments, who share responsibility for education as well as consideration of how to ensure the benefits of education change.
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Scope for Australia
The policy will allow universities in the top 100 in the world to set up in India. Probably this might encourage some Australian universities to start facilities in India. But this will happen only after the law of the new policy of education is passed. The National Education Policy emphasizes on internationalism and flexibility as an opportunity to enhance collaboration in specific areas like the co-development of new subjects and programs, the collaborative design of open and distance learning products and facilities, such as virtual classrooms, greater joint PhD supervision between Indian and Australian researchers, the development of post-doctoral research opportunities that bridge both countries building an example of the New Generation Network developed by the Australia India Institute, grater research collaboration on areas of mutual interest for example in relation to water, health, education, energy, information technology, and the successful implementation of the sustainable development goals, building reflection between Australian and Indian higher educational institutions on how universities engage with industry, government and community, and lastly building on the principle of India as a “Vishwa guru” efforts by Australian educator and administrators to examine what can be learnt from India’s history of education.
Such kind of collaborations could improve the quality, diversity, and relevance of university education and research in India and Australia. It could widen understanding within both countries of the contributions of the other globally.
It could also help both countries reflect on the role of universities in the 2020s and beyond, a theme woven through the National Education Policy and now deserves much greater global discussions.
(The source of this article is The Conversation)