HE Summit Keynote: Sushma Berlia

We have an envious growth rate. Access is the most important dimension and bottleneck. We want to get 30% of our HE age group access to good quality, equitable education. ICT is a powerful tool in that quest. ICT implementations will help create the basic supporting infrastructure – content, delivery mechanism and evaluation. Nothing can replace face to face education, but we could come close.

ICT could be used to bring institutions together globally. She talks of hubs and hubs and spokes as ways to model mentorship and interchanges between institutions.

We need to also improve evaluation systems. Assessments like SAT and GRE suffer from lack of ways to evaluate subjective questions.

Scalability issues are floundering at the governance level. ICT can play a very important role in helping here (she should be looking NAAC :)) and increasing transparency and providing access to information to all. Participating institutions should be enabled in a friendly manner, to send in their information to a central regulatory body. ICT can help streamline processes and data/knowledge flow.

Collaboration is going to be increasingly important in a global context.

As far as industry is concerned, we are very IT enabled. It gets frustrating sometimes to integrate with academia (placement, HR, curriculum planning) because of lack of ICT adoption across the spectrum. Maybe industry can probably help with defining the learning outcomes that it needs from the education system. Maybe there can be a database that can provide everybody with visibility on which industry needs what skill over time.

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