On 29th July 2020, the Indian Government approved the much awaited and much needed National Education Policy 2020. The National Educational Policy 2020 (NEP 2020) comprises essentially of two parts – School Education and Higher Education Institutions (HEI).
This paper essentially deals with the strategies that need to be adopted by Higher Education Institutions to survive in an era of not only post Covid pandemic and the next decade so that the HEIs can once again regain the lost glory of the past. According to estimates by various authorities and research organizations, it is observed that almost 70% of the students of the HEI are unemployable. The issue is what needs to be done. The NEP 2020 has given an impetus to ensure that students are employable and are not only job seekers but also job creators.
The NEP 2020 provides that
- All Higher Education Institutions (HEI) shall strive to become large multidisciplinary universities and HEI clusters. Over a period of time all HEIs will be classified into 1. Research Intensive Universities 2. Teaching Universities and 3. Autonomous Degree granting colleges. The Autonomous degree granting colleges may or may not be a part of a university.
- All institutions will have the option to run Open Distance Learning (ODL) provided these institutions are accredited to do so.
- Holistic development of students which includes soft skills, communication, discussion and debate etc. will be the hall mark in all undergraduate programs including those in professional technical and vocational disciplines. Lessons in community service programs will also be considered as part of holistic development.
- The undergraduate program will be either a 3- or 4-year program with multiple exit points. Thus, a student can get a diploma (after 1 year), advanced diploma (after 2 years), a degree (after 3 years). A 4-year degree with multi discipline including ‘with research’ would however be preferred. There would a creation of an Academic Bank of Credit (ABC) for digitally storing credits from recognized HEIs.
- HEIs can design their own Master degree program (2 years) including the last year being fully devoted to research. Students with 4-year Bachelors program will have only one year of Master’s program. Also, there could be an integrated Bachelor / Master’s program (5 years). The minimum qualification for a PhD. Program would be a 4-year Bachelor’s degree with research program or a Master’s degree program. Additionally, gifted students shall complete their program in a fast track mode. All HEIs shall have topic centered clubs and activities dedicated to science, mathematics, language poetry music, sports etc.
- High performing universities shall be permitted to start campuses outside India and also Top 100 universities in the world shall be allowed to start campuses in India.
- Universities shall strive to get international students to their campuses. Faculty and student exchange, research project exchanges shall be encouraged.
- Private HEIs will offer scholarship from 100% to 25% for at least half of the students.
- Teacher compensation shall be increased substantially.
- The teacher student ratio shall range from 1:10 to 1:20.
- Faculty excellence will be incentivized through appropriate rewards, promotions recognitions and movement into institutional leadership positions. Meanwhile faculty who do not deliver on basic norms will be held accountable.
- All teachers must undergo Continuous Professional Development For this purpose, technology platforms like SWAYAM / DIKSHA could be used.
- Transparent processes need to be developed and put in place for faculty recruitment, training etc. Suitable probation period will be put in place to improve productivity. Teachers with exceptional qualities will be trained to take up leadership position.
- All HEIs must make plans to increase participation of students from all sections of the society by
- Mitigate opportunity costs and fees for pursuing higher education
- Make admission processes more flexible
- Make the curriculum more inclusive
- Increase employment potential by developing holistically
- Develop more degrees in Indian languages
- Make all buildings and facilities wheel chair and disable friendly.
- Develop bridge course for students of disadvantaged students
- Provide mentors and counsellors to student
- All multidisciplinary institutions shall conduct 4-year B. Ed program leading to Ph.D. Faculty in the department of Education shall be Ph.D.’s and / or teachers with outstanding teaching experience.
- All Ph.D. students will be required to take credit-based courses in teaching / education/ pedagogy related to their chosen Ph.D. subject. All Ph.D. students will have to undertake minimum number of hours of actual teaching.
- Restructuring of certain courses e.g. vocational courses, agricultural courses, legal courses shall be encouraged.
- All MBBS students must possess Medical skills, Diagnostic skills, Surgical skills and Emergency skills. All allopathic students must have a basic understanding of Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (Ayush) and vice versa.
- Technical education shall call for closer collaboration with industry and institution to drive research and innovation. Cutting edge education for e.g. AI, data analytics, 3 D machining, machine learning process, genomics, nanotechnology, neuroscience etc. must be woven into the undergraduate programs.
- For each HEI there shall be a Board of Governors (BOG) consisting of highly qualified competent and dedicated personnel. The BOG shall be responsible and accountable for the outcomes of the stake holders of the HEI. The members should demonstrate strong alignment to constitutional values.
- There shall be one strong regulatory body for the entire higher educational sector viz. National Higher Educational Regulatory Authority (NHERA).
- Higher Education Grants Commission (HEGC) will be created to take care of funding and financing of HEI.
- Adult education, Promotion of Indian Languages, Arts and Cultures needs to be also encouraged. HEIs shall have to create strong departments with adequate expertise and design programs in Indian language, creative writing, translation and interpretation, web design graphic design etc.
- The Government of India is expected to budget around 6% of the GDP to take care of the needs of the education sector.
- Statutory bodies will be created to take care of the implementation.
Given the above, it is therefore imperative for HEIs to restructure themselves and develop strategies so as to become a global player by providing higher education to the globe.
To begin with
- All HEIs shall develop as multidisciplinary institutions.
- All multidisciplinary institutions shall conduct 4-year B. Ed program leading to Ph.D.
All Universities shall have a 3- or 4- year undergraduate program. The 3- year program will lead to a degree and a 4- year program could lead to “with research” degree.
- Revise the curriculum to keep in touch with what the industry needs
- Provide a holistic development
- The placement cell should conduct programs which help in bringing out the potential of the child through personality development classes, communication classes, conducting aptitude testing, group discussion how to handle a personal interview etc.
- Teachers salary will have to be increased substantially.
- Teacher student ratio shall be between 1:10 to 1:20.
- All teachers must undergo Continuous Professional Development
- All allopathic students must have a basic understanding of Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (Ayush) and vice versa.
- In order to attract foreign students to Indian Campus, HEI will have to adopt certain microlevel strategies. Thus for e.g.
- Accreditation especially global accreditation is important e.g. AASCB, AMBA etc.
- Get faculties from abroad to conduct classes in India – perhaps we can think of a consortium approach
- To begin with the degree can be given jointly by one of the leading institutions of the world and the HEI
- Marketing of the HEI in foreign countries – a costly process. Perhaps a consortium approach wherein a few HEIs can get together form a cluster and thus mitigate costs. Also, the Indian Embassies could be a big help in this.
- Promote India as a destination point on lines similar to Medical Tourism, Kerala- Gods Own Country, Maharashtra as an Industrial Hub for attracting industries etc.
- Promote India as a safe country for women
- Conduct road shows abroad
- Appoint local personnel to do the marketing of higher education in the target country.
- It is important that HEIs initially target developing countries rather than developed countries.
Prof. Dr. R. Gopal
Head of the Department and the former Dean of the D. Y. Patil deemed to be University School of Management and also Member of the Board of Management, Ajeenkya D. Y. Patil University. He is contactable at [email protected]