Higher education is needed for global perspective: Experts

In a heterogeneous country like India, a lot of different institutional forms need to be developed to meet the needs of a highly differentiated population, say experts

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Apr 8, 2013 10:11 PM
Higher education is needed for global perspective: Experts

Multiple reports state that India’s higher education is not industry oriented. Most management institutes today focus only on theoretical learning, with outdated content irrelevant in today’s competitive world, which results in an ‘education-employment mismatch’. 44 per cent of the recruiters find it difficult to get the right talent in the 4-8 years of experience bracket. On the other hand, there are millions of working adults who are unable to fulfill their need for career enhancement and higher income due a mismatch in the skills and competencies that they have and what industry needs. 40 per cent try and upgrade their qualifications while making a career shift.

Talking about education needs and India, in particular, Professor Henry S Bienen said, “The world keeps changing, so what becomes important is to provide people with continuous learning, and in a heterogeneous country like India, a lot of different institutional forms need to be developed to meet the needs of a highly differentiated population.”

Professor Dipak Jain noted, “When students graduate from American institutions, they feel a need to ‘give back’. This is the kind of culture we need to develop in India, where the students feel that the school made a difference to them. The most important aspect of an MBA education is the sharing of knowledge between teachers and students. It is equally important for teachers to learn from their students as we, in the education profession, are in the business of lifelong learning.”

Globally, the involvement of corporates and leading management education institutions in supporting skill and competence building that is industry relevant has become an accepted practice. Several institutes, such as University of Pennsylvania, Carnegie Mellon University and Apollo Global, Inc. (USA) have taken up this cause and are providing education customised to the needs of working professionals.

Focusing on the needs of corporates, globally, Adam Gutstein, Principal and Management Consultant Leader PwC, USA, pointed out, “There are two broad sets of skills – first is the core skills which are needed for key functions, and secondly, there are the sector specific skills. What is really required in management curriculums is the focus on developing these sector specific skills. Additionally, there is a big need to take advantage of today’s technology and educational institutions need to remain abreast with technology as much as the corporates.”

However, the involvement of corporates in higher education in India is still evolving and is at a nascent stage. Throwing light on this critical need gap in India, Rajiv Verma, CEO, HT Media said, “I strongly believe that it is possible for an enterprise to ‘do well’ and ‘do good’, and these are not mutually exclusive goals. Thus, for HT as a company we realised that there is an opportunity, since there are many young adults looking to improve their skill sets in accordance with the needs of the industry, we decided to enter this space where we can’t only ‘do well’ but also ‘do good’.”

The need of the hour is for Indian management schools to adopt the best practices of world-class management institutions; equally important is the collaborative role of corporates in making management education applicable in the real world.

The above speakers were sharing their views during a discussion on ‘Bridging higher education and industry needs: A Global Perspective’, organised by HT Media in New Delhi on April 6, 2013.

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