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61% of education leaders say India's higher education is outdated

A survey, titled ‘Upskilling India’, notes that Indian higher education is unable to respond to society's changing needs
BY BrainGain Magazine Staff Writer |   23-06-2017
A bespectacled young man writing in a notebook while seated by a coffee table with a cup of coffee on it
Image by KMo Foto (used under CC license)

A survey has found that 61% of education leaders in India believe that higher education in the country has failed to keep up with changing markets. The report, titled “Upskilling India”, highlighted the growing skills gap. It noted that while the future looked bright for India’s economy, fueled by an entrepreneurial culture and youthful workforce, “a looming talent shortage could threaten that future”. It added, “New technologies, ever-changing skills requirements and outdated curricula are challenging India’s higher education system in its efforts to equip graduates with job-ready skills. To address these challenges, India’s education leaders should consider providing students with requisite skills by partnering with industry, adopting new learning technologies and delivering experience-based, applied learning.”

The report, published by the IBM Institute for Business Value in cooperation with the Economist Intelligence Unit, surveyed 289 education leaders across five roles, namely corporate recruiter, corporate learning executive, senior educator, academic leadership, and educational innovator.

The report analysed recent studies on the state of higher education worldwide, and how startups and the demand for skills are impacting higher education in India.

It found that 59% of respondents said the education system has difficulty maintaining relevant curricula, 56% felt it was unable to provide cheaper access to education, 54% pointed to the lack of interaction between industry and academia, and 52% felt that teaching resources were insufficient.

A report in Mint quoted D.P. Singh, vice president and head - HR, IBM India/South Asia, as saying, “We are working with the government, trying to give them a message that there is a blue collar job, a white collar job, and in between a new collar job. It is the new collar jobs that we would like to partner with the educational institutes for.”

It quoted him as saying IBM is working with state governments in several fronts, including curriculum development, training, paid internships, and first-in-line job opportunities based on merit.

The Mint report also added that IBM India, along with select few government partners, were preparing to launch the P-TECH 9-14 School Model, starting June 2018. It quoted Singh as saying the model, created in the US, enabled high school, college and industry to join hands so that students could graduate with a post-secondary degree and the skills necessary to earn competitive, well-paying jobs.

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