Indian Higher Education-Augmenting International Faculty
— Anil P. Agarwal, Founding Chairman of EdifyOnline.
ARLINGTON, TEXAS, Dec. 28, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — Led by Prime Minister Modi’s vision, India has set out an ambitious agenda for improving both access and excellence in higher education through the NEP 2020. A major challenge to its full effectiveness is the current shortage of qualified staff to serve as faculty, particularly in areas that highlight the increasing convergence of advanced technologies and information. Reports point to an acute shortage of faculty to teach 1,2,3 let alone conduct research and raise the level of excellence in Indian universities, with the Minister of Education reporting to Parliament as recently as December 2021 that over 10,000 faculty posts vacant were central universities, IITs, and IIMs 4. This indicates an even greater need for government, private, and tier-2 universities, all of which will need to significantly increase faculty numbers and levels to meet current and NEP stated, Goals for Higher Education in India. Additionally, many faculty at regional, Tier 2 and other universities are non-PhDs, further compromising the ability to meet the standards of international universities in terms of excellence in teaching and learning.
Many Indian universities and colleges, particularly regional and smaller institutions, are resource-limited and therefore unable to provide students with the full range of required education, including in subject areas needed in the workforce. Advances in digital technology, accelerated by the need to address issues during the COVID pandemic, are making it possible to connect international faculty, institutions and students in effective ways, including enhancing opportunities for active learning and personalizing education. Indian universities can now expand their existing faculty with international academic talents (“global experts”) without time, space and location restrictions. In addition, the Indian faculty can now shadow the global experts and achieve the standards of international higher education more effectively. While slow decision-making in academia is often attributed to a lack of timely progress in launching new programs and/or updating the curriculum, in many cases the root cause is a lack of adequate resources. The availability of a pool of highly qualified teachers capable of teaching online using the latest digital tools for online learning would benefit smaller institutions in particular, and the socio-economic benefits of retaining jobs in these regions would be multiplied . Additionally, this helps launch new programs while faculty is still hiring, so students benefit from the brightest minds.
Indian higher education is at a crossroads and with the path mapped out by NEP 2020 the question is no longer about a solution but rather about the path to be taken; 1) Development of resource-intensive in-house staff to find and manage the global experts. Or 2) Utilizing the services of an established, highly respected and motivated partner specifically focused on identifying and managing global experts. In either case, efforts must be directed towards rapidly increasing academic success in the internationalization of Indian higher education in line with the NEP 2020 target, while developing the local expertise of faculties in the longer term.
“In 2023, the focus will shift to the quality of education, the use of global experts and the overall costs involved,” said Anil P. Agarwal, Founding Chairman of EdifyOnline. He added: “Indian universities will challenge themselves to determine the total cost, which comes from the cumulative costs of the whole process and not from the global experts alone. EdifyOnline plans to participate in such discussions and adjust operations to fit for optimal outcome.”
According to the NEP 2020, the power of knowledge is best demonstrated when the focus is on students and teachers. Engaging global experts through modern digital technologies should be a breeze. Advancements such as the on-boarding of global online experts will accelerate the excellence of institutions in India, giving all greater access and a better chance of success at a lower cost.
About the Author – Dr. Vistasp M. Karbhari is a leader in higher education in the United States, focusing on issues related to improving access, impactful research and innovation, study pathways, digital and online learning, digital transformation, and integrating academic knowledge and skills needed for are required for professional success. He is a professor in the Civil and Mechanical Engineering and Aerospace Engineering faculties at the University of Texas Arlington, where he served as President from 2013-2020. “Can be contacted at [email protected] and followed on Twitter at linkedin.com/in/vistaspmkarbhari and @VistaspKarbhari.”
Vistasp M. Karbhari, PhD
Prof. for construction and mechanical engineering as well as aerospace technology
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