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Access, Equity and Quality in Education

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We should take advantage of technology to unleash the strength of our universities

Prof V S Rao
Director,
BITS Pilani, Hyderabad Campus

Technology holds the key to the future of education. Technology has a great potential to strengthen universities. A lot of educational activities can be conducted more efficiently once we start using the latest innovations. Technology is a tool which is used to face the challenges in education sector.

To meet the needs of access, equity, quality and the shortage of faculty, universities are increasingly depending upon the technological tools. BITS has increased the student strength from 3,500 in the year 2000 to 10,500 in 2010. This is an increase of 300 percent. They have around 18,000 working professionals who are pursuing their continuing education and earning degrees both at bachelors’ and masters’ level. Admissions are conducted bycomputer based online system called BITSAT (BITS Admission Test).

The tests are conducted at 20 different centres over a period of one month. 1.15 lakhs people appeared for this admission test for 2100 seats in across three Indian campuses. All registration processes, timetables and integrated learning programmes for working professionals are delivered through online systems.

Unless innovative ways are developed, universities will lose their importance and many virtual universities will takeover. In the virtual world students have the freedom to learn at leisure and the new consultant will be an invisible professor available in some offices with computer. Things are going to change and proper research should help education and technologyenabled services in every university.

The role of teacher cannot be diminished and these technologies are going to supplement the teacher. We should take the advantages of the technology that is available and unleash the strength of our universities.

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