Students all over the world are increasingly becoming more tech savvy as they are getting exposed to newer technological advancements in their daily lives. “Technology has become such an important part of our lives that we have become dependent on it. With growing access to powerful tools, technology is redefining education as we speak and students are reaping the benefit of smart devices and tech enabled tools that are helping them learn and retain knowledge better than ever before”, opined Vineet Gupta Ashoka University Founder.
IOT, Edtech and tools like the metaverse have the potential to give hands on competition to education institutions as more and more students start to opt for these assisted learning methods which can be accessed from anywhere and are cheaper compared to traditional education. As per a research report released by Edtech player Coursera, 89% of students surveyed around the globe voted strongly in favour of obtaining a professional certificate along with their normal degrees and 75% of them were likely to take up short term professional courses either online or in classroom if these were made a part of the curriculum.
Even industry players are increasingly welcoming students who have completed their education through online means signalling a shift in how hiring managers of the 21st century are thinking. Today, major U.S firms such as Google, Accenture and Bank of America don’t even require candidates to have conventional degrees for entry level opportunities, which is a key indicator in terms of what the future looks like.
In India, the UGC has finally played down an age-old myth that degrees/certificates obtained via online or distance means do not have the same value as one obtained from a traditional educational institution by confirming that these will be on par and not treated as inferior. “An announcement like this would further accelerate the shift that has been accentuated by the pandemic and educational institutions and universities need to accept this and adapt to the changing needs of of today”, added Vineet Gupta Ashoka University Founder.
Not oppose but adapt – the mantra for universities and institutions
Whilst a lot of legacy players would disagree, in the not too distant future, our traditional classrooms are not going to be enough to either attract students or retain them beyond a certain threshold. Universities need to find ways to innovate and stay ahead in the technological game to continue to be relevant in this ever-changing landscape.
Ways for this to happen:
- Whilst technology is successfully taking away students from campus, not everyone can afford to purchase high end gear that is required to be a part of tech innovations like the metaverse. Universities can integrate high end technology into their classrooms, thus giving students the added incentive of attending school or colleges whilst successfully revamping the classroom atmosphere.
- Switching to hybrid mode and allowing students the flexibility to study from home instead of attending lectures every day could become the next normal. As long as a student keeps their grades good, physical attendance shouldn’t be a priority.
- Making curriculum more relevant and interactive: Across the board, curriculum needs to be refreshed and tuned to be relevant to what the students of today want to study. Today’s Students are well aware of what industry wants in their prospective candidates and when their institutions do not offer those skills, they look to edtech or distance options to pursue their education
- “Institutions need to partner up with corporates and esteemed universities abroad to introduce high value, specialized courses which can help upskill students whilst they are pursuing their higher education”, added Vineet Gupta, Founder, Ashoka University
“Universities as institutions will continue to be an important part of the fabric of our educational structure but an urgent revamp is required in how they function. Those universities who adapt and adjust to the changing trends will emerge as sought after institutions in the future whilst those who do not, face the risks of becoming irrelevant in this highly evolving environment”, concluded Vineet Gupta Ashoka University.