New Delhi: Promoting the vision of the new National Education Policy-2020 that strongly advocates Higher Education Institutions to lay emphasis on the holistic development of their students, a two-day International Conference on ‘Student Engagement, Wellbeing, Holistic Development & the New Normal’ was inaugurated at Amity University Uttar Pradesh (AUUP). The conference is being organized by the Department of Student Welfare, AUUP to discuss the importance of student engagement, welfare and new-normal in higher education from current and future perspectives.
Chief Guest H.E. Mr. Hector Gonzalo Cueva Jacome, Ambassador of Ecuador to India talked about hope and the importance it holds in human life. He averred that hope is very important in this current scenario and asked students to work together in these tough times. He also shared his experience of having taken the first shot of Bharat Biotech’s Covid-19 vaccine. He stated that India will play a major role in south-south cooperation and how the Universities across the globe are going to be the big factors in this new reality.
Dr. Atul Chauhan, Chancellor, AUUP & President, RBEF mentioned that this platform will provide an opportunity to share best practices in student well-being and student engagement. He also elaborated on the mission of Amity to create future leaders and inculcate in its students, to give back to the society creating a better world. Dr. Chauhan suggested the counsellors present to offer their services 24×7 for providing maximum outreach & a benefit to students.
Dr. Sue E. Pressman, President, American Counselling Association shared her views on ‘Holistic Development of Students’. She averred that the stress of the society in the present times can negatively impact students and such deliberations can help the exchange of best practices for the benefit of students. She suggested students to indulge in self-care during these tough times.
Professor Jessica Vanderlelie, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Students, La Trobe University, Australia talked about ‘Supporting student transition and success: the new normal’. She shared that education is a gift and privilege that cannot be taken away from students and universities have a major role to play in allowing students to fulfil their dreams & making them equipped for lifelong success.
Professor Dimitar Dimitrov, Secretary-General, Council of Rectors of HEI’s, Republic of Bulgaria; Member IAEA spoke about ‘The importance of Holistic Development for Students’. He shared that his university allows students to actively participate in the management of the university and the various measures taken to promote their holistic development. He asked students to actively participate in activities related to their universities.
In her address, Prof. (Dr.) Balvinder Shukla, Vice-Chancellor, Amity University Uttar Pradesh (AUUP) welcomed the guest speakers and shared the challenging situation experienced across the globe in the past 10 months & how it has affected the students across all levels. She averred that it was a great challenge to support students remotely and keep them actively engaged for their holistic development. Dr. Shukla added that the conference will allow the exchange of experiences of dealing with the needs of students during these pandemic affected times & how Amity University transitioned to the online mode of learning, maintaining academic continuity. She further shared the support given out to students through the 24×7 helpline of the university that made them deal with anxiety and stress due to the lockdown.
Prof. Marshal Sahni, Dean Students’ Welfare, Amity University, Uttar Pradesh (AUUP) gave a detailed insight into the conference and the various sessions that will be organized with more than 50 national and international speakers.
The conference aims to provide an opportunity to the academicians, researchers, students, experts, and policymakers to present and discuss ideas, empirical research results and experiences to create theories and practical approaches to meet the requirements of “new normal”. It also looks to develop an understanding of the skills required for all-round development of students; determine the method to use research findings in establishing priorities of student-development and develop an integrated system for building a student-friendly environment & meeting their needs.
The major sessions of the conference will be focusing on topics including ‘Meaningful engagement of students at the university campus’; ‘All-round development of students in digital age’; ‘Defining student development and its process in ‘new-normal’ scenario’ and ‘Promoting students’ physical, social, emotional, mental and spiritual development’.