Higher education allows one to pursue a career that interests and inspires them. Higher job satisfaction also comes from higher income, better employment benefits, and more advancement opportunities to the young generations.
The higher education system in the country is the building block of the community and society. All the policymakers and the money men of the country need to understand the issues breeding in the system and take all the possible measures to improve the standard of the Higher Education Sector.
Challenges In Higher Education Sector
In the education sector, there should be a major focus on the need for quality over quantity in the field of education. Like every other aspect around the globe, the education sector also holds its challenges. However, the challenges in educational institutes differ from each other, some way or another, but, there are some common ones, that everyone has to go through
Some of those challenges are:
- Availability of quality academic and non-academic staff – It should be emphasized that not only a degree or a certificate in a particular field is important, but what is more important is the real-time trends and situations in the industry.
- Ensuring a live and active connection with the industry – It is extremely important for any higher education institute to have active connections with industry so that they can impart practical knowledge to the students.
- Keeping up with technological advancements – The industry is evolving faster than the higher education sector can grasp everything that is happening. Hence, this becomes a challenge for universities and colleges to keep track of all the technological advancements in the field.
- Quality of student intake – The government policies and the expansion in the higher education sector have drastically improved a lot in the last few years which is a good thing, but their expansion is uncontrollable and since is hard to control this expansion, it has become a major challenge for a university to keep a strict quality check on the intake of the students.
- Lack of effective communication skills in students – Schools are not more focused on communication skill development, which makes it hard for higher education institutes to ensure that the students are ready for the pressure of the industry.
- Lack of correlation between education systems – The schools are not making themselves ready for different levels of our education sector. This is the biggest challenge in the entire education system and that probably leads to more damage to the next generation. So, a gap between the coordination in the level of education is one of the biggest challenges.
- Need for constant revision of material – Every statutory body is bound with their curriculum and that curriculum is not upgrading at an as fast pace as the industry’s moving. The schools are not getting themselves ready about when they are going to finish their program, they probably are far away from the industry needs. Students are equipped with bookish knowledge, which is probably, only, 20-30% of the requirement of the industry knowledge required.
Need For More Updated Faculty
That percentage of a teacher trying to keep themselves updated is only 5% of all teachers are interested to do that. However, the teachers are not directly to blame because they are so bonded with curriculum and syllabus, examination process, result publication, and all these things. The teachers probably don’t get much time to research happenings in the industry. This is another challenge.
If one looks at that, it is one of the burning areas for the higher education sector for an institute to sustain. If that gap is not going to be fulfilled, the higher education sector is going to be sustainable. This is a huge part but one could see and as a result of what happened now since the industries are not getting the right fit candidate from the institutes so they are not trusting the institute.
Role Of Government And Corporates In Strengthening The Industry
Everybody has to come together to ensure that the higher education sector is thriving. If the government can create some type of jurisdiction where the corporate can receive tax benefits or other perks if they invest their time and resources in the sector to bridge the gap between the higher education institutes and the industry, then the students will become a much-valued asset.
If the industry starts to come forward to accommodate the students for training or to accommodate the professors for training and all these things and automatically it is going to give a good result.
It should be emphasized that higher education institutes and corporations mutually benefit from each other. There are organizations that have a lot of philanthropic, there are industries who’re having a lot of philanthropic thoughts that are definitely coming forward. They are contributing to different projects, they are doing it. However, if we need this process to have a higher pace, the government has to step in.
Plausible Solution For Bringing A Change In The Industry
There isn’t a problem in the world that doesn’t have a plausible solution that can be overcome. There can be several ways that the Higher Education Sector can deal with the challenges present in front of it. Such as:
- Hiring faculty with industrial experience – The Government of India has passed a bill that requires all the faculty members of any college or higher education institution to have a Ph.D. However, this doesn’t solve the main challenge since practical experience is more important than theoretical knowledge.
- More industry involvement – Students need to learn and understand the requirements of the employer. Therefore, institutes need to introduce both formal and informal session of industry meets for the students
- Hiring people from the industry – People who have worked for 25-30 years in the industry can be more insightful about the trends and the functioning of the workplace. These people can coach students in developing key skills in communication and presentation.
The higher education sector develops the pillars of modern society, it produces a generation of people who have the chance and intellect to bring a change in the community. Therefore, it is important that the teaching methodology and curriculum is more practical oriented, then the industry will thrive.
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Mr. Abhijit Giri
Director of Career Development Cell & Group Outreach at Adamas University, Kolkata, India
He is a former Vice-President of RICE (Education) Group
He has been involved in the education sector for the past 19 years.