Aligning schools and new age higher education

The space of higher education has always been a dynamic one, undergoing fundamental changes in the 19th and 20th century to meet the demands of the changing economy. Today the world of higher education is changing exponentially- this time to serve the needs of a global, digital, knowledge economy. The seismic changes brought about by the Covid-19 disruption is one of the many that this space will see in years to come. However in all of this what remains constant is the wellbeing of the student. As education becomes competency and skill based and adopts the path of multi-disciplinary learning, the pathways to college education and career breaks free of traditional silos. Digitalisation and individualisation will become the DNA of higher-ed as the systems for certification become more flexible, case in point , the introduction of the Academic Bank of Credit by NEP 2020. In such a scenario schools will have to increasingly become more agile and adaptive systems that can gauge and predict future needs and equip their students with relevant skills. It is no longer sufficient to teach content and subjects without providing real life context. The pedagogical practices will have to ensure that they are modelled on either academic relevant or industry relevant methodologies. For instance, how many of us have heard the term VUCA? An acronym that stands for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity, it is a term that was coined by the US Army War College but has gained immense importance in business. Or for that matter the increasing focus on producing ‘T-shaped’ graduates in universities. The objective of higher education is to build deep expertise along with wide knowledge base. The World Economic Forum’s Global Risk 2022 report suggests that along with climate change, the erosion to social cohesion emerges as the biggest risks the world faces in the next ten years. In such a grave scenario we can only look towards the next generation to come together and collaborate on solving global issues using the skills and understanding that they have learnt in school and college.

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