Dr. Tanushri Purohit, HOD – Amity Skills Institute and Associate Professor, Amity Business School
Education sector in India and across the globe has seen tremendous development in the last few decades. Achieving academic brilliance through innovation, industry integration and internationalization can build long term holistic implications in the area of teaching learning. The curriculum coupled with high quality teaching can construct the backbone of the rigorous academic programmes being offered. The innovative and inter-disciplinary approach challenges the young minds to explore scholarly pathways and develop holistic academic enthusiasm. Integration of sustainable practices for attainment of academic excellence through value added programmes should be at the core of academic policy implementation of higher education institutions.
The integration of value added courses should focus on leveraging the talent and innovative capabilities of the budding professionals to meet the needs of the contemporary dynamic business environment thus making the student more industry ready. The value added programs supplements students learning and enhances their preparedness to meet the challenges of professional life. These programmes enable the students to acquire a more holistic perspective and thus have better understanding of issues present-day industry challenges and also facilitate the students to gain and develop innovative and creative skills through a wide array of course offerings.
The industry demands in contemporary times has become enormously competitive, the need for skilled professionals possessing diverse persona are best fit to meet the industry demand. Present work environment have become more target oriented, quality determined, skill and competence driven. A multi disciplinary and application oriented focus is expected to make the student industry ready is at the core of the development and delivery of the value added courses. The student is motivated to build on his/her strength areas by choosing courses in areas which is of interest to them. The course delivery should focus on perfect combination of blended learning, classroom contact sessions, workshops/ seminars/ certification programmes and substantial project work and assignments with industry relevance. Value added courses in the area of foreign languages, behavioral science and communication skills should be made compulsory by offering credits. Also value added courses in the areas of values and ethics, environmental issues, technology, communication and cross cultural exposure are imperative for the holistic advancement of an individual.
Another pertinent need for addition of value added courses in higher education institutions is providing students with the flexibility of designing their own degree thus facilitating cross programme education i.e. it allows students to opt for courses cutting across disciplines and also permits credit transfers and earning credits through MOOCs and live projects. Integration of value added courses facilitate the students with the option of choosing a minor along with the major area of study, allow credit transfer from one programme to another, freedom to choose courses from other programmes, earn credits through live projects/ community projects/ workshops, option of taking a break after diploma and then continuing to earn a degree, transfer credits to other universities (in case of twinning programme with universities abroad) and course credits through MOOC’s.
Also to foster global competencies study abroad programmes help the students to earn their certain credits earned from study abroad programs. Study abroad programs are a life enriching experience which gives students an edge to face the competitive world. Students have the option to carry out their classes at selected foreign university providing them with a global experience and contemporary perspective into their education. These modules provide the students with an international exposure so as to enhance their knowledge, proficiency and academically rich quality experience. The study abroad programme is a stepping stone towards gaining wisdom in appreciating new cultures, improving foreign language skills, gaining knowledge in a discipline with an international viewpoint, and developing their readiness for innovative challenges.
The technology driven education model is expected to revolutionize the landscape of learning & development not only in India but also in global landscape with pioneering outcomes on knowledge creation and transfer. The higher education institutions should focus on building a sustainable ecosystem which focuses in nurturing budding leaders of the corporate, social and cultural world and strive to blend modernity with tradition for sustainable future. The effective integration of technology, innovation and value based curriculum increase the students’ engagement along with the academic learning environment, encouraging the critical thinking skills and problem solving amongst the student’s community. Collaborative endeavors in conjunction with industry to design value based curriculum with the focus on bringing the results of the cutting edge research, innovative practicing skills and knowledge in contemporary pedagogy and academic delivery progression. The process would encourage and involve learners in their academic journey and make them ready to face the challenges of the dynamic business environment.