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Campus preparedness report 2015 highlights importance of technology

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campusCampus Management, global provider of technology solutions for higher education sector worldwide has launched a Campus Preparedness Survey Report 2015 that highlights the state of campus preparedness for meeting out the goals and challenges of institutional advancement amidst emerging global trends in higher education.

Having done from the perspective of “From the Future – To the Future,” the report is an in-depth study of emerging global trends and something higher education is looking for at this critical juncture of national resurrection.

In terms of emerging global trends, the report highlights the emerging competition from various quarters, improving the student experience and employability (70 per cent) tops the list of concerns followed closely by the focus on attracting and retailing quality faculty (55 per cent), accessing research & consulting projects (51 per cent), accessing a broad base of students (46 per cent) and adding the potential employer base (36 per cent) complete the deck of key concerns and priorities when it comes to meeting out the global competition.

On the delivery front, Indian institutions agree the most on the need of curriculum optimization (58 per cent) followed closely by student engagement initiatives (51 per cent), flexible terms (39 per cent), on-ground hybrid & online learning models (39 per cent) and eventually non-traditional education (31per cent).

The key institutional outcomes as envisaged by the Indian institutions of higher learning can be classified into nine clusters dealing with diverse concepts & themes pertaining to Research (11), industry (5), faculty (4), curriculum (6), infrastructure (1), students (7), pedagogy (15), global (11), and interface & linkages (2).

GOALS & CHALLENGES

Further Effectiveness of Faculty- 85 per cent

Faculty is playing an eventual role in institutional advancement. Barring a paltry 15% of the institutions, institutions have a dominant priority to further faculty effectiveness. The core evaluation criteria for faculty induction remain the competency and propensity to teach, vetted by some 55% of the institutions; the stellar academic record appeal to 51% of them. A mere 17% of them deny the existence/ importance of tools for managing faculty operations. There is vivid range of opinions, structures & systems for faculty evaluation, counting to around to around 49 distinct concepts.

Improving Ranking- 78 per cent

The goal of Improving Institutional Ranking ranks quite high amongst the Indian Campuses. A mere 22 per cent of campuses feel that this goal does not exist in their priority. This simply implies 78 per cent of the Indian higher education campuses are marching towards creating elaborate datasets and ensuring their due analysis & presentation, which are critical in improving the well-established signalling factor of institutional report and performance.

Consolidating Infrastructure- 80 per cent

The evolutionary impressions pertaining to institutional infrastructure range from core academic ones to those beyond academics to diverse ones. Merely 20 per cent of the institutions do not accord any priority to the development and due management of physical infrastructure. A whopping 96 per cent of them claim that they have been able to optimally utilise and manage their existing infrastructure, while an impressive 81 per cent of them say that they do have some of a tracking and maintenance solution for their infrastructure development and maintenance. Infrastructure being the starter tangible asset for accentuating higher education which has been the key differentiator for long, make everyone feel to be in due control of the same. These high figures of excellence and optimisation in infrastructure somewhere suggest of that over-confidence.

Focus on Research- 78 per cent

When it comes to the dominant focus on research as a priority for institutional advancement, the experiences vary from getting defensive to utterly differentiate. A vast majority of institutions harbor the conventional viewpoints, while some have been able to initiate applied experiences with some of them embarking on a progressive tail. The Campus Preparedness survey could record 31 unique enunciations in the aforesaid clusters. A mere 22 per cent of the institutions deny according to substantial priority to research. 46 per cent of them are engaged in applied research, 34 per cent of them have quest in advanced themes while 20 per cent are inclined in appropriate research. Contrary to the traditional critique of Indian Scholarship evading from elaborate documentation, 94 per cent have recognised the importance of documentation and 50 per cent of them are attempting to have an automated information flow & ecosystem to document the entire research life-cycles.

Adopting Information Technology- 74 per cent

The role and importance of technology in meeting out the various goals and challenges of institutional advancement has been unequivocally accepted by institutions of all genre in all zones. 74 per cent of the institutions have accepted it to increase their operational efficiency. However, the vivid views range from those of sheer admittance to application to impact as well as off the mark ones. The preference for a One Time Capex on Technology infrastructure investments supersedes those of recurring opex and capex one. Institutions have more preference for a Build and Buy mode rather than a simple pick up one for technological adoption. The section on IT further delves into this interesting emerging quest of India’s higher education.

Enhancing Placements- 73 per cent

The Indian higher education landscape is dotted with as many as 59 key strategies and methodologies for ensuring due placements for their students. All these emanate from the perspective of structure, process or focus. A mere 7 per cent of the Indian campuses consider that enhancing placements is not a dominant priority. The use of IT tools in managing this diverse activity is gaining prominence at all levels whereby as many as 42 per cent of them are using some or the other type of CRM tool. An impressive 41 per cent of them are in the process of fully adopting and relying on hierarchical online dashboards to monitor and supervise this multi-stakeholder activity.

Institutional Outreach- 65 per cent

In an increasingly interconnected global order, institutions are adopting a myriad mix of means to reach out to the prospective students. From the various means of information dissemination to those of engaged interactions to long lasting engagement programmes, every innovation is being tried and tested. The Campus Preparedness Survey documents 28 such means. Interesting, only 65 per cent of them seem to the inclined in furthering their institutional outreach. May be, they didn’t want to explicitly come on record as this smacks of the taboo of commercialisation of higher education, or may be the institutions have evolved to some unprecedented levels. 43 per cent of them still prefer to spend on print media closely followed by electronic (32 per cent). Encouragingly online and social has captured the attention of 57 per cent of institutions. Despite the huge visual clutter across Indian cities and towns of bill boards and hoardings, they have reduced inclination of a mere 10 per cent of the institutions.

Operational Efficiency- 57 per cent

With as many as 20 constructs defining the top level decision making stakeholders at various institutions, 57 per cent of them consider it worthwhile to focus their attention towards enhancing operational efficiency to reduce costs. E-mail has found a whooping acceptance in 73 per cent institutions for internal reporting with a sizeable 45 per cent of them still continuing with manual paper based ones. 73 per cent are gearing up to adopt some kind of software and an online dashboard for this purpose.

Revenue Growth- 55 per cent

The inherent dichotomy of the Indian mind to accept the dominant material realities of the day get duly pronounced when a significant 45 per cent of the institutions of higher education claim that the priority for catapulting institutional growth in terms of revenue does not exist at their institution. From introducing multi-disciplinary campuses (55 per cent) to consulting projects (36 per cent) to setting up campuses in multiple geographies (30 per cent) to alumni endowments (29 per cent) to qualifying for various governmental schemes (28 per cent) to adding dimensions (26 per cent) to exploring research grants (25 per cent), institutions are exploring all modes of enhancing their revenue growth.

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