1. How the New Education Policy will impact Higher Education?
Well, it’s ‘India shining’. The NEP is a welcome move for the whole education ecosystem of our country. It is a commitment by the government and top leadership, for drafting an education policy that will change the future of our youth, and align their education and careers with countries such as the US and UK. We’re extremely glad the NEP addresses the current challenges of a ‘siloed-education’ system and gives importance to creative as well as design thinking, logic-based decision-making, and innovation.
While the policy puts forward a deadline 0f 2035 for a complete restructuring of our education system, tactical goals are set to be accomplished earlier – conversion of leading colleges into board administered, autonomous, degree giving HEIs; freeing up undergraduate students to take courses across all disciplines; launch of a four-year bachelor’s degree; opening India to foreign universities; incorporating vocational education in college curriculum; and creation of a National Research Foundation.
A new, much simpler governance system will ensure that the government, education institutes, and educators and as well employers, are part of a more cohesive system and work towards a unified goal of delivering excellent education.
2. Multiple entry and exit in Higher Education will able to bring more students?
Yes, the new credit system and an academic ‘credit bank’ weed out the problem of dropouts because of the existing theoretical education design. The new combination of choices in terms of arts, social sciences/humanities and sciences has been broadened and multiple entry and exit options have been made available basis credit transfer. Perhaps it’ ‘Passion meets Flexibility’ for the first time.
3. What are the challenges for HEIs to implement the NEP?
The reforms proposed in the NEP are significant and systematic – and with all large changes, they will take time. It could be years before we start seeing the impact of the NEP – especially when it comes to more focus on research or creating a demand for liberal education programmes. The NEP is a grand vision and it must be executed, in the most meticulous manner. It does propose the simplification regulatory structure for the sector. Having said that; India’s education policy is futuristic and bold and at the same time practical, considering the needs of the time. A lot will depend on how it is interpreted and implemented. One challenge is the availability of skilled human resources and the time that it will take to transition. Also, This where technology and infrastructure will truly prove to be game-changing enablers.
4. Opening the Indian Higher Education to foreign players; how will it impact the Indian players?
Indian institutes have been partnering with foreign institutes for ‘twinning’ and exchange programmes for a while now – and many of them have been waiting for the Foreign Education Bill to pass, which has now come in the form of the NEP. Foreign institutes entering India will help encourage international academic exchanges, more skilled and lauded foreign faculty to enter into the country and conduct original research, as well as help bring in a uniform standard of international education which will become adopted by Indian institutes countrywide.
5. How will the four-year multidisciplinary bachelor’s programme work?
Under the NEP, degrees will now be credit-based and consist of a major and a minor – with significant attention on extracurricular activities. This approach will help develop students into better-rounded individuals with better “life skills” and a more flexible professional profile. This way, someone with goals of becoming an engineer can still pursue their passion in writing – opening up so many more doors for them post-graduation, despite the polarity of the two subjects.
6. Will the focus on multiple disciplines not dilute the character of single-stream institutions?
The new policy can definitely take some time for institutes to adopt – however some of the biggest growth happens outside of our comfort zone. This new reform from the NEP can be a call to action for institutes to hire more faculty, offer programmes that are needed by their local community and expand their target the audience so much, in time transforming their local landscape in a way they could have never done by just offering a single stream of education.
All in all, students will now be able to acquire a vocation early-on, thereby bringing relevance to our education in terms of skills enhancement and capacity-building. In the future, this will converge into “earn while you learn” at the country-level, something we are already executing at ISH.