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Higher education in India: Quo Vadis?

Team Linways

It’s a confusing time to be in college right now. Everybody’s after the system of education stating that it’s not meeting its mark, and there are new regulations and methods being brought in every other month. However, a closer and deeper look at the evolving education scenario offers some interesting insights.

CHANGES GALORE

To move on, even though the great universities and colleges in India are routinely blamed for their lack of innovation, pedagogic relevance, and research productivity, there are some very positive updates happening right now in the Indian higher education sector. The system is moving towards student-centric education. Student-centered learning (SCL), a.k.a the learner-centered approach, is, popular in more developed countries.

In Student-Centered Learning, students influence the content, activities, materials, and pace of learning. This learning model places the student (learner) in the center of the learning process. The teacher provides students with opportunities to learn independently and from one another and coaches them in the skills they need to do so effectively. With more and more universities and teachers becoming aware of it, our system of higher education will reap the benefits. For students, this means the curriculum and classrooms become more student-friendly. Students can take active participation in choosing the course, designing the curriculum, and classroom teaching/learning. It promises the education to be a great experience that you’d enjoy both in classrooms, as well as outside.

WASHINGTON ACCORD

The signing of the Washington Accord and introducing accreditation for programmes and institutions like the NBA and NAAC is also great news for the Indian graduate/postgraduate students. The UGC has made it mandatory for colleges to have a NAAC accreditation, which is a quality assurance certification. Professional programmes are also accredited by the National Board of Accreditation (NBA). “Bringing in new learning theories and teaching methodologies also bodes well for the learner." These learning theories are embellished in the form of regulations, and a huge share of colleges and universities are welcoming these changes to improve the standards of their education.

WHAT DO THE CHANGES MEAN?

1.The accreditation by NBA and NAAC means colleges will have better quality standards.
2. Indian students will now have the opportunity to obtain degrees that are equally valid and valued in India as well as abroad. So as a student, you can choose to continue your studies from other universities beyond the nation, or find work with the degree you have that is still valid even if you leave the nation.

Students studying in NBA accredited Institutions can be assured that they will receive a quality education which is a balance between high academic quality and professional relevance. The needs of the corporate world are well integrated into programmes, activities, and processes, so employability will be assured. The accreditation signifies that an Institution has the essential and desirable features of quality professional education. Also, now there is an opening for foreign students to apply for Indian technical courses. This will result in a mutual information interchange that will improve both our national economy and professional sector. This could also mean that finally, the lack of innovative ventures in our country might be straightened out.

The benefits and significance of NBA accreditation is -

  • NBA accreditation demonstrates accountability to public or people.
  • The accreditation of NBA clearly indicates the commitment to excellence.
  • It plays a vital role in facilitating constant quality improvement in higher learning institutes.
  • It recognises the innovations and achievements of higher learning institutes.
  • It helps higher educational institute to know its strengths, weaknesses and opportunities.
  • It helps institutes to get financial assistance from government agencies, private bodies, etc.
  • It gives higher learning institutes a new sense of direction and identity.
  • The society can get reliable information about the quality of education offered in an institute through NBA accreditation.
  • NBA accreditation promotes intra and inter-institutional interactions.

Whereas in the case of NAAC accreditation, the grade will help the student to figure out all the details about the institute such as quality of education, research output, teaching-learning, infrastructure, etc. NAAC grade helps students to choose the best institute based on its NAAC grade/ performance in the NAAC accreditation process. NAAC grade also determines the value of degree offered by the higher learning institutes.

Another great news for Indian college students is the Gross Enrollment Ratio, or GER, is at an all-time high. GER is the proportion of 16-to 23-year-olds enrolled in higher education.

GER has increased during the last five years, from 24.3 in 2014-15 to 26.3 in 2018-19. The Ministry of Human Resource Development has set a target of achieving 32% GER by 2022. “Going by the current growth rates, this target is likely to be met in the next few years,” said the report, describing India as in the initial stages of ‘higher education massification’.

To make sense of what this means, the higher education system with GER less than 15% is considered elite, where access to higher education is limited and is viewed as a privilege. GER between 15% and 50% is regarded as a mass system, where higher education is seen as a right for those with certain formal qualifications. Higher education systems are described as universal when the GER is above 50%, the report notes.

Technology-assisted learning, the introduction of academic management system, like Linways AMS, in colleges help students easily track their course, attendance, college-related activities, etc. Teachers sharing course materials and having access to them 24/7 is definitely a huge advantage for students. With such platforms, students are always notified of how their performance looks like, so can they participate and have a better experience in college.

Linways is a technology company that focuses on improving the way we learn. Our platform, Linways Academic Management System(AMS), helps students and teachers to easily manage their learning, and simplify day-to-day activities. Linways AMS is loved by teachers and welcomed by students across institutions because of our unique easy-to-use interface and its ability in improving their lives.

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