Vineet Gupta Ashoka University Founder – “India’s knowledge economy requires world-class universities”

New Delhi (india), September 22: Since the Indian economy is growing and requires talented individuals to meet the demands of the knowledge economy, the demand for high quality education continues to increase. As a result of lack of reforms in higher education, a large number of graduates are unemployed and a large number of youngsters are seeking higher education abroad as a result. As part of the New Education Policy of 2020, reforms are planned to be implemented and the stage is now set for institutions to be established in India to meet the huge demand for higher education in our country, says Vineet Gupta Ashoka University Founder. In order to remain relevant in a world where students have ever increasing options, modern educational institutions must adapt to the changing times in order to serve the interests of their students.

The creation of a modern Indian university

It is a noble task to build an institution, and educators take on the responsibility of educating the young minds of the country. However, universities go beyond simply being educational institutions. In addition to providing students with an opportunity to complete a higher education, universities also provide them with opportunities to take part in sport, music, art, and a host of extracurricular activities.

In order to drive excellence and relevance, universities should look to incorporate the following institution building model:

  1. Collective philanthropy
     
     
    “At Ashoka University, we have over 150 eminent founders who have contributed to build the institution. In addition, they have contributed with their time and expertise to the brand of the university. There is and can be only one mission that binds all these people together – to build an excellent institution. Hence excellence is built into the DNA of the institution. Excellence in turn draws in more like-minded founders. It is a virtuous cycle and the founder base of Ashoka will continue to grow”, says Vineet Gupta, Founder, Ashoka University
  2. Faculty and leadership selection 
     
     In order to build a great institution, you need to select and recruit the right faculty. Good students are attracted by high quality faculty. This is also a virtuous cycle – good faculty attract good students, and vice versa. A second key stakeholder category is the selection of university leaders. Besides being great scholars, university leaders need to be open-minded, empathetic, and committed to building institutions.

3. Real-world exposure and experiential learning

It is important to build critical thinking skills and problem solving skills by combining project work with open ended problems and research assignments. It is important for students in professional courses to attend industry visits, listen to special lectures from industry evangelists, and prepare case studies based on real-world problems. Rather than teaching just theoretical concepts, engineering education should emphasize building and making.

  1. Apprenticeship and Internships 

“Apprenticeship and Internships should be a part of every university program in today’s age. Often students are confused on what professional organization they would like to join. Multiple internships help students not only in discovering their strengths but also figuring out which job functions they like or don’t like. It also brings in the whole element of learning by doing.” adds Vineet Gupta, Ashoka University

  1. Modernizing infrastructure

To provide students with the best education experience possible, universities of today need to be well equipped. Digitalization, research labs, makers labs, and the adoption of the latest learning technologies are among the things that go a long way in creating a modern university experience. Vineet Gupta adds, “Many institutions are experimenting with using their campuses as living labs.”

“The reason why Ashoka University has become a brand is because of its focus on governance, faculty and curriculum. Today, Ashoka University has gone from strength to strength and established itself as one of the top private universities in India. As per the most recent QS University rankings in 2021, Ashoka University was ranked among India’s top 5 private universities, among the top 250 universities in Asia and amongst the top 30 universities in India. In terms of international faculty, Ashoka University ranked no.1 among all 118 universities.” – Says Vineet Gupta.

It will take many high-quality educational institutions focused on research and innovation in order for India to achieve its 5 trillion economic goal. In order to build a new higher education ecosystem that builds on our strengths, we need to break free of age-old practices that undermine our higher education ecosystem. In the post-NEP era of higher education in India, universities that can strike the right balance between modernization and core values will emerge as front runners. 

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