Sudhakar Rao, Director, ICFAI, talks about industry involvement for curriculum design and the need to upgrade skills constantly
ICFAI has 20 campuses across the country. With focus on management education, engineering and technology, law, architecture and liberal arts among other fields, the group has brought about a number of innovations in its programmes through cutting-edge technology and developing entrepreneurial mindset. Sudhakar Rao, Director of ICFAI, shares his thoughts on some critical aspects of higher education. Excerpts:
On foreign universities setting up campuses in India
ICFAI understands what is best for the student and that has been the core of our practice more than philosophy. And we welcome foreign universities and institutions coming to India. Students in India should get the opportunity.
If you want to take a big leap and transform higher education in this country, you need to welcome everyone and keep it open. The competition is good for students as they would get best options, and the best of talent will be recognised in the process.
On the establishment of National Digital University
Whatever skills you have, are suddenly going to be outdated and not going to be required anymore with the advent of new technologies. So every time you will have to focus on what skills to take up. And what is the duration of rescaling and upskilling? I think with these three parameters as the requirement, we should go for initiatives like digital universities, foreign universities coming to India, and several other establishment activities to take a big leap in the higher education space.
On industry involvement
Industry is always a little ahead of the institutions. So, the best way to catch up is to bring the industry into the institution and have greater participation in your dissemination of information, design of the curriculum and delivery of the curriculum. If you involve them, you will have minimised that gap.
The alumni base, which is working with industry, takes the lead in helping us revive our curriculum, design the new curriculum and also identifying new methods of developing it.
On faculty upgradation
One is we have a faculty base with PhD and new-age research areas. Two, we have professors of practice, and a large number of them come from the industry. This reduces the gap between academia and industry on one hand and also helps the faculty stay invested in future.