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Aditya Berlia: Universities to play important role in education

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Aditya Berlia

Have spent decades convincing stakeholders across the board on education reforms and are excited to now be able to implement them in service of our students, faculty, and our communities says Aditya Berlia, Co-Founder and Pro-Chancellor, Apeejay Stya University in an interview with Elets News Network (ENN).

How universities can bring back students to campus?

Universities have a duty to all their stakeholders to ensure their safety and security. While Covid-19 has been massively disruptive to education, virtual learning, especially by those who have been able to step up during this time, has been an effective albeit expensive bridge. At the moment we need to make sure our campuses are designed to slowly open up first to essential physical presence (such as staff and practicals) and then through proper protocols enable those who are vaccinated and low-risk to make smart decisions about their health. We envision once the vaccine drive starts in earnest universities themselves will become centres for the community.

What are the steps that Apeejay Stya University (ASU) is taking to complement NEP 2020?

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Apeejay Stya University is proud that its structure and philosophy not only matches the NEP 2020 but in many ways exceeds it. We are delighted with the new National Education Policy (NEP), which is in line with our view of the world founded on a Liberal Arts base with a deep focus on the scholar as an individual. We are extremely delighted that the NEP will allow us to expand and extend our innovative education models with regulations that help, support, and encourage us. We have spent decades convincing stakeholders across the board on education reforms and are excited to now be able to implement them in service of our students, faculty, and our communities. The devil will be in the final details, and while the policy is out, we are eagerly waiting to see how it translates on the ground.

What will be the placement scenario for universities post-COVID-19?

The global talent war is real, and corporates are rationalising work forces to focus on taking the new opportunities presented by Covid-19. Scholars graduating from universities who have prepared them well for being agile and adaptable will find excellent placements post-Covid. Further, with the global experiment on remote work, there will be incredible new opportunities for graduates to be able to work directly or via captives/third-party companies for organisations around the world giving them international exposure and salary while at home. However, scholars should not sit idly by – companies respect those who go above and beyond to enrich their knowledge and experience and prove that they can be entrepreneurial.

What the new courses Universities must bring for future jobs?

More important than universities starting courses is educating parents and prospective scholars on how the market and the world is changing. Universities across the country are running incredible courses with great industry demand and high salaries – but they find no takers as parents and scholars have not been sensitised by the industry and media on these new opportunities. This has led to many universities abandoning excellent new courses favouring those “in demand by students”. We urgently need a national conversation where the industry takes it upon itself to educate prospective students on the incredible new economic opportunities.

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