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We Have To Focus On Continuous And Life-long Learning: Dr Prashant Bhalla, Chancellor, Manav Rachna University

Another episode of the webinar – ‘Wednesday Wisdom: University of The Future’ was presented by BW Education and Primus Partners in association with BW Businessworld.

BW Education and Primus Partners in association with BW Businessworld, hosted another episode of the webinar – ‘Wednesday Wisdom: University of The Future’. Industry experts from different institutions joined the discussion panel. 

The speakers for this chapter were - Prof D P Singh – Chairman, University Grants Commission (UGC); Dr Paul Dhinakaran – Chancellor, Karunya Institute of Technology and Sciences; M Krishnan – Vice-Chancellor, Madurai Kamraj University; Raghav Gupta – Managing Director – India and APAC, Coursera; Dr Dheeraj Sanghi – Director, Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh; Dr Prashant Bhalla – Chancellor, Manav Rachna University; Dr Annurag Batra, Chairman & Editor-in-Chief, BW Businessworld & exchange4media Group (Chair) and Charu Malhotra, Co-Founder & Managing Director, Primus Partners India (Co-Chair).

In his opening remark, Dr Paul Dhinakaran, Chancellor, Karunya Institute of Technology and Sciences said, “Now the curriculum is offered online, the theory is made available online, the students have the opportunity to learn from other courses like Coursera and others and get the best as the university says, we will give you credits for everything you learn online. And then they go to the market. They need not necessarily come back to the campus to do it. Of course, campus learning is unique as students get an identity with an institution and so on.”

He is looking forward to more entrepreneurs coming out through this system of education who will be ready for the market.

Technology remained in the core of the discussion. Dr Annurag Batra, Chairman & Editor-in-Chief, BW Businessworld, stated, COVID is forcing us to use technology and discover the benefits of technology that we never did because we didn’t use it enough.

Raghav Gupta, Managing Director – India and APAC, Coursera, liked to discuss jobs first before discussing education. Quoting a report, he said, COVID will have the toughest impact on jobs which have the low level of education. Industries like retail, hospitality, travel, specially the grey-collar/blue-collar workers will have a very adverse impact. And the importance of education is going up because the kinds of jobs that are going to be available in the future, will have digital and data elements with them. So, the importance of higher education is expected to go up.

Dr Prashant Bhalla, Chancellor, Manav Rachna University, underlined that the Industry focus and industry involvement has to be much deeper and much greater in the times to come and the job and employability aspect linked to it is obviously one big change that we definitely need to bring in and when we talk of the role of public universities, now it is time when we have to look at continuous change. We have to look at life-long learning, continuous learning, may be co-learning with the industry and make a collaboration with them. Otherwise, in no time, we might see students opting out from degree programs being offered by universities.



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