Your institution has established a firm name in the education sector. What makes it stand out from the rest? What are the strengths of the institution and why should students opt to educate themselves here?
At Amity we have always wanted to not just build institutions of excellence but to help drive transformative change in the education sector as a whole. This has driven us to constantly introspect on what is needed to improve the student experience and outcomes and what needs to be done to achieve this. We were one of the early pioneers of the private university model, technology enabled learning, flexible academic curriculum, industry integrated academia, research intensity and IPR, globalisation of Indian education etc. We also created a national and now global network of institutions to provide access to a larger number of students to quality professional programs and to make them global leaders.
Today Amity has over 175,000 students across 11 Universities and more than 150 Institutions set up across the country and over 15 campuses established globally. We offer holistic learning for the students through vibrant campus life, experiential learning, sports, industry exposure, interaction with top corporate leaders, opportunities for global learning through our 3-Continent & Study Abroad programmes.
What is the motto of your institution and how do you ensure that the motto is carried out?
We are a Research and Innovation driven University. For us research forms a fundamental requirement for each faculty, institution and center. We have formed interdisciplinary research centers at each university which differentiates each campus’ specialisation. There are research clusters which cut across various universities creating synergies between teams across the country and abroad. Finally the Amity Science Technology & Innovation Foundation creates a plan for each area and monitors progress. We encourage our scientists to patent their findings and over 1500 patents have been filed facilitated by our support teams. Technology transfer is an important aspect which is commercialising the research of the universities. We also support student entrepreneurship as well as incubation and acceleration services through our award-winning Amity Innovation Incubators.
Another motto we follow is We nurture Talent. This is a belief that every child, every student has an innate talent and gift and it is our responsibility to groom and develop them. There are extensive value addition programs such as behavioural science, communication skills, foreign languages and military training camps to ensure that we create well rounded citizens with good values and sanskars.
Given how competitive today’s world and the youth is, what processes is the institute involved in to ensure that you keep up with the times and provide the best facilities to the students.
First, one has to invest in the best infrastructure which is not only the buildings but also learning environments such as libraries, labs, lounges, etc. In addition extracurricular and leisure facilities have become an integral part of student life and need to be developed as per latest standards. To stay up to date on academic inputs, industry-academia integration is the need of the hour which also prepares students for the challenges of the real world. We have collaborated with RICS, Chola Insurance, CII, Tata and other corporates to offer job-ready programmes. Initiatives like CEO Series, Corporate Lecture Series, Amity Eminent Webinar series provide a great platform to the students to learn.
The pandemic brought the entire world, including the education sector to a standstill. As an educator and a chancellor, what are your takeaways from the pandemic and how do you think it is going to affect the education sector in the future?
The pandemic has catalysed trends which create unprecedented opportunities for tremendous change. Not only has technology advanced tremendously which is useful in the teaching-learning and assessment process, but both students and faculty have become facile at using these technologies. Without being forced to do so this level of adoption would have been impossible to achieve for a long time. Now the question is how well universities will be able to retain the positives of what we have experienced. Unfortunately too many institutions may try to revert to the status quo. The opportunity lies in online education, blended learning and avenues for lifelong learning.
The entire makeover of conventional learning & pedagogy has the potential to transform the education sector which I believe is a progressive outcome.
As a Chancellor, what are some of the achievements of your institutions that you are particularly proud of?
In recent times I have felt very proud of the way our people have responded to the pandemic from a humanitarian perspective. Teams have pulled together to look after each other, the students and even the families of students in a way that is just incredible. There are so many anecdotes of faculty and staff going over and beyond the call of duty to help provide healthcare, counselling, support and so much more to the community. Accross all our universities, we also took a step forward to ensure that any of our existing students who have lost an earning parent to the pandemic, will be provided with the resources to complete their program. We would only wish that our students and faculties remember that they’re all a part of the family and that is what we wish to propagate as our culture.
More broadly I am proud of the achievements of our alumni, students and faculty. When our students do well, we know we have achieved our objectives. We are also focused on sustainability and have achieved LEED-certification at the Platinum level which was a first for a University campus in India.
The new National Education Policy 2020 is set to roll out for the upcoming academic year. As an educator, what are your thoughts on the same?
What changes and transformations do you see for the Indian education system?The NEP2020 brings great promise to transform education in India. At the heart of the policy is to make education more inclusive, technology enabled and provide institutions the ability to compete with the best in the world. I am sure that the GER will improve by these measures. Importantly there are plans to strengthen early years education which will create a strong foundation for child development across the board. The student centric approach will allow for more customised programs as per student interest and aptitude. This in itself is a critical aspect of what a world class education should be.