To deliberate upon some of the key challenges and opportunities faced by the universities in the subcontinent, Times Higher Education (THE) India Universities Forum in partnership with Amity University started today at University campus, Sector 125 Noida.
This forum witnesses a host of National and International educators from higher education, industry and government come together and discuss about the globalization of higher education in India and its future.
During the day, a data masterclass by Phil Baty, THE – Chief Knowledge Officer was held who explained about the new rankings’ methodology and presented insights into India’s performance from the pilot results obtained by THE rankings pioneered in 2019. Calling India one of the most dynamic countries in the world huge demographic challenges and opportunities, Phil Baty also remarked how the country’s participation has very rapidly grown in the rankings arena. “Over the last 3-4 years India has dramatically improved its engagement in global benchmarking and data analysis, which is a very positive sign as it does ensure that Indian universities stay competitive. As a result, we are starting to build a really powerful picture of Indian Higher Education but only at the research intensive end. The should also focus on research in the arena of climate change to make them an opportunity to climb up in the global rankings. Our entry criteria is restricted to universities with minimum amount of research publications and you have to voluntarily and actively participate in the rankings to be featured in them,” shared Phil Baty.
THE University Impact Rankings are the world’s first rankings to measure universities’ social and economic impact, based on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These rankings recognize excellence in higher education not through traditional metrics such as research and prestige, but through an innovative range of performance indicators, looking at a university’s stewardship of its resources, its outreach and its research in specific fields relating to the SDGs and teaching the next generation to adopt sustainability in their lives.
Mr. Ritin Malhotra, Regional Director (South Asia), THE conducted a reputation management masterclass on ‘Branding and Communications in Indian Higher Education’ to assist university’s in identifying key factors to improve their reputation. He shared how a lot of Indian universities were engaged in interesting research work but needed to work on their communication skills to make that research count in the global arena. “Asian universities should go for the “low-hanging fruit” of communications in the form of English websites, available in-house experts and faculty members to be university brand ambassadors, social media and regular press releases. Universities should look for authentic and unique branding to make themselves stand apart,” advised Ritin Malhotra. He further shared comparison with Chinese Universities and the exponential growth made by them citing the high support given by the Chinese Government to research and development activities.
Speaking on ‘Faculties of the future: how universities in South Asia can recruit more efficiently’, Mr. Dipit Sharma, Hiring Solutions Sales Executive – THE shared that for building world-class faculties, universities need to think long term and understand and develop their university’s unique value proposition. “Strategic hiring along with creating a framework and process to seek out jobseekers, as opposed to them seeking you out would be the key,” suggested Dipit. He also spoke about how lack of students, with only 11.1% of the Indian youth having the opportunity to pursue higher studies as compared to 20% of Chinese youth is preventing Indian universities from building world class faculties as compared to China.
“The for-profit practices of Universities being content with steady cash flows and losing sight on future goals coupled with tensions between students and administration, establishment is putting brakes on the nation. With shortage of resources creating lack of funding and hampering research and with teachers and professors seeking opportunity overseas creating shortage of skilled workforce, a lot needs to be done. We are losing the best of the minds to foreign countries who provide strong opportunities to grow,” shared Dipit. He further laid emphasis on the implementation of the National Education Policy 2019 that puts faculty back into the heart of higher education that also calls for stopping the prevalent approach of ad-hoc and contractual appointment.
The second day of the conference will have following main sessions scheduled at I2 Moot Court, Amity University.