“A university should be a place of light, of liberty and of learning.”
University education is a privilege, a tool to take a country into the predominant stream of globalization. A place of treasured teaching and learning, research & technological progress and one of the critical determinants in bringing about the process of social change and development.
Indian society is known for the prominence it has laid on education right from the beginning. If we go back in the history, the revered Takshila university (oldest in the world); Nalanda University; Vikramasila, Vallabhi, Pushpagiri universities, and the continuing list indicates how India has always valued education.
Fleeting changes in the education sector across the world have however remarkably influenced and transformed Indian higher education. Nevertheless, every country has an innate persona, structure and values which are its roots. Indian system of education, higher education, in particular, has served as one of the significant factors for the economic, political, social and cultural transformation in the country.
Here are a few things integral to Indian universities and Indian way of teaching –
1. Knowledge base
Traditional knowledge is fundamental to the identity of a society. *India’s traditional knowledge library is known to have 34 million pages of formatted information on 2,260,000 medical formulations alone! The universities in India assimilate conventional education methodologies with contemporary approaches. How much ever modernized, the universities here have always followed the intellectual inquiry-based curriculum. Knowledge has long been considered an asset in the Indian higher education context and the institutions boast of a massive knowledgebase.
2. Diversified culture
The country itself is a quintessential example of multiplicity of thoughts, languages, races, ethnicity, lifestyles, scientific, artistic and philosophical perceptions. In tune with the country’s ways, every university here embraces and promotes diversity. Student diversity in universities is seen to breed open-mindedness, allow for cultural exchange and stimulate critical thinking approaches. Studying in Indian universities nurtures the nature of acceptance and prepares students for global culture.
3. Research-based learning
The major traditional branches of knowledge in India developed as a result of careful and precise observation and inquiry into natural phenomena. Indian universities preserve, protect, and promote conventional knowledge-based innovations, as its custodians. For instance, Ramaiah Medical College, one of the leading medical colleges in the country, says “We promote academic research across student and faculty levels to create an atmosphere of investigation & learning.”
It is for this reason QS I∙GAUGE, the higher-educational institution rating platform, considers investment in research a mandatory criterion to rate an Indian university.
4. Adaptive learning
Owing to the diverse cultural setup, Indians are inherently adaptive and quick to draw up the required skillsets. Sustainable development in terms of education and employability demands highly skilled human resources to meet perceived targets. Universities, to navigate the challenges and tap on the global opportunities, are pushed to create flexible and creative thinkers who can adapt to the rapidly changing job markets. Looking at the tremendous potential in the Indian education sector, market leaders are now coming forward to invest in the country. Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google, has announced his idea to train 2 million android developers in India in collaboration with potential universities.
5. English – Global communication
English is a widely accepted language across the world. It is seen that people with good English-speaking skills stand out from the crowd and attract 30%-50% higher salaries than their peers with similar qualifications who lack English communication skills. Foreign companies mostly use English as the common language of communication. Indian universities have the upper hand when it comes to imparting knowledge in English and honing students’ English-speaking skills, as compared to other Asian and developing countries.
Universities, in a nutshell, have this significant role of training, honing and preparing students for a whole new social era. Indian universities (like many other universities in developing countries) have been battling the influence of globalization, but are still managing to focus on skill development rather than just conferring degrees.