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How will Indian Higher Education be remodeled in the Next Decade?


Indian higher education is the platform where much of the outbreak of groundbreaking paths occur, thanks to the immeasurable number of young adults involved. Being one of the most influential parts of the Indian economy, it is no doubt that what is brewed here is what spreads the aroma of the future generation and its direction into the future. Of late, there have been many new detours in the flow of the Indian higher educational system, bringing up new avenues within the system itself.

Here are some of them charted out to know what holds the next decade for the same:

Online learning is taking precedence
Due to convenient and affordable access to online sources, particularly through smartphones, students are increasingly resorting to online learning. When we look at online learning, there are two aspects to it, rather, two paths taken. The tendency towards pursuing online courses have become the norm. Reasons being gaining additional certifications, procuring a wider base for a mainstream course, opting for professional courses, and learning new and foreign languages.

Online sources are also highly sought after for extra study materials to support those given at enrolled institutions, through reference articles, research papers, e-books, explanatory videos, question and answer forums, discussion platforms and so on. Online tutoring is also a trajectory of the same.

Artificial intelligence (AI) and Big Data will enhance pedagogy
Artificial Intelligence has been beaming at the world with its accuracy in various areas of life and processes. Education is also affected by and through Artificial Intelligence and is no surprise, as the use of online and electronic devices for enhanced academic experiences is rampant nowadays. Therefore, the approach of Artificial Intelligence is especially appropriate for the internet age, when students are more than expected to access knowledge from multiple sources. In another decade or so, Artificial Intelligence is anticipated to completely alter the pedagogy at various levels of education, especially at the higher education level, with the major bunch of young adults falling in this category.

Research-based teaching will step into the fore
Going beyond the textbooks that are generally not as updated as referring to a recently published research paper may really add to the credibility of a topic of discussion. Traditional modes of assessment of students' performance are now being replaced by emerging technologies and research carried out by the same. The students' learning experience is gaining utmost importance, as teachers are striving to incorporate research-based teaching methods and material in imparting education. This is resulting in altering the curricula and division of courses as per individual streams and course aptitudes. All this is being fueled by the increasing frequency of the connectivity and interaction between academic peers across the globe, building holistic understanding.

Customization of the learning experience
With the realization to cater to the different learning needs of each student being held of more importance, many higher education institutions are picking up different styles of teaching methods to achieve the same. Virtual and industry-related methods to impart the understanding of concepts are gaining much popularity, which may become a part of the changes the various pedagogies will undergo. A course may be divided into parts that focus on specific areas of interests of the students in general and are also taught in specific and appropriate ways. This has been birthing a number of smaller courses that revolves around certain topics and concepts to ensure a more personalized and customized learning experience.

Degrees may have to step down
The demands of a skill-based and visible, practical competencies are beginning to slowly dismantle degrees and traditionally-revered certifications from their high positions. Most global employers and even local, small-scale organizations have declared their preference of "graduates" with potential, over their degree certificates. As a result, most students are choosing online, short-term courses over the 3 or 4 year-long courses that may possibly not be necessary to land them that heart-held job/vocation they can easily secure through better, more feasible methods. This may, in the long-run render regular degrees less valuable than it was around three decades ago. Short-term courses are also gaining popularity because of the study being narrowed-down to more relevant areas as opposed to degrees being a vast and expansive study of the subject; something that may not necessarily need to incorporate as they move over to their specialized fields.

This beckons educators and teachers to adopt new, better and more pragmatic approaches to guide and navigate the educational agenda for higher education in India. They need to be highly proactive, supportive and provide the supplements to help students grasp all they need for a long-term learning process. Considering the uphill climb of the Indian higher educational system and its institutions, the predominant rule that most live by are that students should be given their space to learn at their own pace in ways if those ways ensure effective life-long learning.