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A 9.9 MEDIA PUBLICATION MAY 2011 WWW.EDU-LEADERS.COM

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Pankaj Jalote Director IIIT New Delhi

FOR LEADERS IN HIGHER EDUCATION

TLC FOR

TEACHERS CAN EDUCATORS BE MADE MORE EFFECTIVE AND EFFICIENT THROUGH TEACHING AND LEARNING CENTRES? Pg 14

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PROFILE

RAJEEV SANGAL, DIRECTOR, IIIT HYDERABAD, ON LISTENING TO STUDENTS P50

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KEEP IT GREEN, CLEAN & CLEVER P38

ACADEMICS

THE JED-I MASTERS ARE HERE P30


FOREWORD Training the Trainers

M

“If we can pour in thousands to train the nation’s police, engineers and doctors, why are we so hesitant to do the same for our teachers?”

ost of us remember a subject or a paper because it was taught well not because the course content was great. The best memories of my academic days are attending a class where the teacher was truly inspiring. Behind every great course, there is a great teacher. Great teachers make you want to learn. They teach you how to learn rather than make you learn. And then at the other end of the spectrum, are teachers who dish out the same stuff year after year merely relying on books and notes. Are great teachers born or can they be made? Can good teachers be trained to be better? Can poor teachers be trained to be good? And can people who did not start out as teachers be made into teachers? With its scarce resource pool of professors and an even smaller pool of good professors, can teacher training be the answer for India? As I see it, there is no dearth of inherent talent or interest. What the higher education sector and its main actors lack (after all, teaching is a performance!), is training and respect. In this edition of EDU, our editorial team examines the merits of a TLC – teaching and learning centre – for teachers. You could also interpret TLC as “tender loving care” for this most important actor in the higher education sector. It seems that there are others who are also thinking on similar lines. Take for instance, the IIIT Delhi that recently held a workshop debating whether TLCs were a good idea. I have been personally evangelising the idea of a “pedagogical clinic” to train those who don’t teach but are interested in teaching as the answer to India’s faculty woes. If we can pour in thousands to train the nation’s police, engineers and doctors, why are we so hesitant to do the same for our teachers, especially those involved in the higher education sector? Perhaps, somewhere deep down, we believe it is easy to teach. Everyone can do it. Perhaps everyone can, but only those who have either talent or the right training, do it well.

Dr Pramath Raj Sinha pramath@edu-leaders.com

May 2011  EDUTECH

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CONTENTS EDU MAY 2011

UPDATE

04 IMT 05 XLRI MEDICAL 06 REPORT COLLABORATION 07 SET UP COURT

COVER STORY 14 TLC FOR TEACHERS India has a scarce resource pool of skilled professors. Teaching and learning centres may be a way to solve this crisis

VIEWPOINTS

08 RAHUL CHOUDAHA Awarding excellence

58

12 DHEERAJ SANGHI Is Indian engineering education charging enough?

SURVEY

24 HOW GREEN IS MY VALLEY?

By Rohini Banerjee & Smita Polite

ACADEMICS

30 REKINDLING THE JOY OF ENGINEERING Dr Swami Manohar and Dr V. Vinay are bringing magic back to science By Kavitha Srinivas

TECHNOLOGY

34 SMALL WONDERS FOR SMART SCHOOLS Smart card solutions for schools By Tushar Kanwar

59

We want to tell youth to come and build whatever machines they want here” — RAJEEV SANGAL, DIRECTOR, IIIT HYDERABAD

CAMPUS

EXPERTISE

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PROFILE

50 RAJEEV SANGAL By Smita Polite

GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE

Find out what’s currently happening in institutions around the world. The Chronicle of Higher Education shares its perspectives with EDU

38 GO GREEN Institutes reducing their energy use By Padmaja Shastri

46 BHARAT PARMAR & ABHINAV I. A, B, C of endowment

52

50

52 BRITISH COUNCIL MEET HELD IN HONG KONG By Aisha Labi


FOR LEADERS IN HIGHER EDUCATION

DIALOGUE

26 LARRY JOHNSON Larry Johnson, CEO of New Media Consortium, talks to EDU about how the organisation develops technology and propagates it to universities across the world By Smita Polite

MANAGING DIRECTOR: Pramath Raj Sinha PUBLISHING DIRECTOR: Anuradha Das Mathur EDITORIAL DIRECTOR: Mala Bhargava GROUP EDITOR: R. Giridhar ASSISTANT EDITOR: Smita Polite ASSISTANT FEATURES EDITOR: Rohini Banerjee CONTRIBUTING EDITOR: Aniha Brar SUB EDITOR: Ruhi Ahuja DESIGN SENIOR CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Jayan K. Narayanan ART DIRECTOR: Binesh Sreedharan ASSOCIATE ART DIRECTOR: Anil V.K. SR VISUALISER: P.C. Anoop SR DESIGNERS: Prasanth T.R., Anil T., Joffy Jose Anoop Verma, N.V. Baiju, Chander Dange & Vinod Shinde DESIGNERS: Sristi Maurya, Suneesh K. Shigil N. & Charu Dwivedi CHIEF PHOTOGRAPHER: Subhojit Paul PHOTOGRAPHER: Jiten Gandhi SALES & MARKETING BRAND MANAGER: Ankur Agarwal NATIONAL MANAGER-EVENTS & SPECIAL PROJECTS: Mahantesh Godi NATIONAL MANAGER EDU TECH: Nitin Walia ( 09811772466) ASSISTANT BRAND MANAGER: Swati Sharma AD CO-ORDINATION/SCHEDULING: Kishan Singh

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PRODUCTION & LOGISTICS SR GM OPERATIONS: Shivshankar M. Hiremath PRODUCTION EXECUTIVE: Vilas Mhatre LOGISTICS: M.P. Singh, Mohamed Ansari and Shashi Shekhar Singh

President of education services, Manipal Education, speaks about how technology can drive education By Aniha Brar

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54 BRITAIN’S NEW STUDENT VISA POLICY RESTRICTS WORK OPPORTUNITIES By Aisha Labi

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55 BRITISH COUNCIL MEET HELD IN HONG KONG By Karin Fischer

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Pankaj Jalote Director IIIT New Delhi

TLC FOR

FOR LEADERS IN HIGHER EDUCATION

TEACHERS CAN EDUCATORS BE MADE MORE EFFECTIVE AND EFFICIENT THROUGH TEACHING AND LEARNING CENTRES? Pg 14

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COPYRIGHT, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED: Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission from Nine Dot Nine Interactive Pvt. Ltd is prohibited.

PROFILE

RAJEEV SANGAL, DIRECTOR, IIIT HYDERABAD, ON LISTENING TO STUDENTS P50

CAMPUS

KEEP IT GREEN, CLEAN & CLEVER P38

ACADEMICS

THE JED-I MASTERS ARE HERE P30

Cover Art: DESIGN: ANIL T PHOTO: SUBHOJIT PAUL

Please recycle this magazine and remove inserts before recycling

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FROM THE WORLD OF HIGHER EDUCATION

05 XLRI 05 MEDICAL 06 REPORT 06 COLLABORATION 07 SET-UP 07 COURT & MORE

WOMEN’S ONLY SESSION IN SOIL School of Inspired Leadership (SOIL) has started “Career Reconnect for Women” to promote their inclusion in the corporate sector. Also, on the B-school’s agenda, a “Emerging Leader Booster Programme” for young managers and an “Early En t re p re n e u r Deve l o p m e n t Programme” for aspiring or firstgeneration entrepreneurs, running family businesses. These programmes are a part of the “Realise Your Potential” series. In it, students will be trained by corporate leaders and entrepreneurs.

GREAT LAKES INSTITUTE JOINS GMAC MEMBER LIST

In the Pipeline: The plan for the new Hyderabad campus of the IMT

IMT New Campus to Offer More Hyderabad facility will run two-year, full-time PGDM programmes in nine specialisations IMT Ghaziabad has started work on its new Hyderabad campus. The new school will offer a two-year, full-time PGDM programme with nine specialisations. Each course will include a 14-week, faculty-supervised “industry internship programme”. Students can also opt for international student exchange programmes and pre-placement opportunities through internships. “Apart from courses in finance, marketing, HR and general management streams, the institute will offer electives in business analytics, accounting, entrepreneurship and international business. Our 14-week industry internship programme will give students an opportunity to receive a holistic view of the organisational processes, and prepare them for their specialisation in the second year,” said Dr V. Panduranga Rao, Director, IMT Hyderabad. The institute also proposes to set up three “centres of excellence” in the areas of financial engineering, business analytics and entrepreneurship to generate more knowledge, test and validate ideas, and conduct contemporary practice-oriented research.

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Graduate Management Admission Council or the GMAC, a body that conducts the GMAT, has included Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai, in its list of members. Membership to the GMAC is by invitation only and is restricted to top management schools. The other Indian institutes that are GMAC members are Indian School of Business, Indian Institutes of Management in Ahmedabad and Bengaluru, and SP Jain Institute of Management and Research. Professor T.N. Swaminathan, Director (external relations), Great Lakes, said: “This membership will help us play a part in the GMAT and help assist with international accreditation.”

AMU PARTNERS WITH COLOMBO FOR RESEARCH Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and Institute of Indigenous Medicine, University of Colombo, have signed an MoU to strengthen research, particularly in the traditional “Unani” system of medicine. AMU Registrar V.K. Abdul Jaleel and Director of the Institute of Indigenous Medicine, Dr R.A. Jayasinghe signed the MoU, which will facilitate and promote individual contacts among scholars, students and faculty.


UPDATE

XLRI Inks MoU with Santa Clara The Indian B-school to recommend small-time entrepreneurs to GSBI for incubation XLRI: Xavier Labour Relations Institute (XLRI), Jamshedpur, and Santa Clara University (SCU), California, have signed an MoU to promote social entrepreneurship in India. XLRI will manage and support Global Social Benefit Incubator (GSBI), the programme being run by the Centre for Science, Technology, and Society of Santa Clara University. Each year, the GSBI screens and selects about 15-20 social ventures from across the globe, incubates them and makes them investor-ready. There are about 30 GSBI alumni social ventures in India, which include Gram Vikas, Jaipur Rugs, Drishtee, Mother Earth, Husk Power Systems, Video Volunteers and Naandi Foundation. As GSBI’s Indian partner, XLRI will identify and recommend Indian entrepreneurs to GSBI for

incubation and access to seasoned Silicon Valley mentors. In addition, XLRI will also partner with SCU to conduct due diligence on the applicant Indian ventures to ensure appropriate potential and quality. According to Professor Madhukar Shukla of XLRI, co-ordinator of the partnership: “With about 30 GSBI New Beginnings: XLRI-Santa Clara push for social ventures in India, local businesses which range from the well“The case studies will be a valuable established ones to young start-ups, there academic resource to promote learning is potential to facilitate mentoring relaon sustainable models of socio-economtionship among the GSBI alumni themic development, and will help disseminaselves.” XLRI and SCU also plan to coltion of practices learnt in the social laborate to develop case studies of the entrepreneurial space,” added Shukla. GSBI’s Indian alumni ventures.

University of Warwick Develops Anatomy App MEDICAL students can now keep those anatomy textbooks aside to pick up the newly-launched iPhone app developed by the University of Warwick. Professor Peter Abrahams, teacher of clinical anatomy at Warwick Medical School, has turned his classroom lectures into byte-size anatomy classes, which can be downloaded by medical students worldwide. The app — Aspects of Anatomy — provides 38 short, teaching videos, which effectively bring medical theory to life, using plastinated prosections of the lungs, thorax and the arm (from the shoulder to the hand). One can watch the professor demonstrate the function of nerves, tiny twig-like bronchioles or the heart valves as well. Students can also avail the pop-quiz section of the apps for a quick test. “We’ve used the technology students already have in their pockets. I see this app being incredibly useful for anyone from senior nurses to surgeons. It’s a way to refresh knowledge. It’s perfect for busy GPs and practice nurses,” says Abrahams.

global update

$4.99

is what it takes to download the apps from the iTunes folder. Profits made from the sales will be used by the university’s research laboratories

May 2011  EDUTECH

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UPDATE

Hyderabad: A Centre of IT Expertise GILD’s talent report rates IIT Delhi as the top university, crossing BITS Pilani REPORT: A talent report by GILD.com states that Hyderabad is now India’s new centre of IT excellence having surpassed Bengaluru as the top city for IT talent in India. GILD’s rating systems measure the quality of talent – not the quantity of talent in a market. The other big surprise was Jaipur in the number three spot. The report also clearly showed the rising popularity of open source technologies. MySQL and PHP made it to the number one and three spots for the fastest growing technology skills across India. In the university rankings, IIT Delhi continued to retain its numero uno position, however, BITS Pilani took the top position in the February ranking. On the company rankings Aricent took over the number one spot in the all-time rankings, while Sasken came in at the number three

Hi-Tech Hub: The capital of Andhra Pradesh has beaten Bengaluru to clinch the top spot in GILD list

spot. It’s interesting to note that both companies focus on the telecom space and clearly attract some very top talent. Sheeroy Desai, CEO of GILD.com says, “IT skills in India are no longer confined to certain cities, universities and companies. While small in number, the IT professionals in Hyderabad have risen above their peers in other, more traditionally recognised cities, and skills are relatively evenly spread across a

number of universities and firms.” The other cities listed by GILD are Delhi NCR and Mangalore. Apart from IIT D e l h i ; B I T S ’ Go a c a m p u s ; I I T Kharagpur; and Malaviya National Institute of Technology, Jaipur, also found themselves on the list. The GILD report compares the quality of talent and the skills of professionals employed. It is the fastest growing network of professionals around the world.

COLLABORATION

Knowledge Network to Connect IITs INDIAN Institutes of Technology will be connected through National Knowledge Network (NKN) in the next two years. Kapil Sibal, the Union HRD minister, said the government is connecting the IITs to ensure that students do not get affected on account of faculty shortages. Some 1,266 posts lie vacant in the old IITs, while 515 posts remain vacant in the new IITs. “The network will help students overcome courserelated problems, which couldn’t be addressed due to shortage of faculty,” Sibal explained. He said the government is also getting ready “Open Source Materials” for hundreds of courses being prepared by professionals — both for public and private institutions. He added that there is a need to create more IIT-like institutions and that the government will

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set up IITs in every state of India. The government’s decision to set up National Knowledge Network was announced in the 2008-2009 Budget Speech. An initial amount of Rs 1 billion for FY 2008-09 was allocated for establishing the network. A high level committee was set up under the Chairmanship of Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India to co-ordinate and monitor the establishment of the National Knowledge Network. On March 25, 2010, the Centre approved the establishment of the NKN at an outlay of Rs 59 billion, to be implemented by National Informatics Centre over a period of 10 years.


UPDATE

UNESCO to Set up Peace Institute Institute to strengthen peace initiatives and sustain development related research SET UP: The Union Cabinet approved the new institute be set up as a categorythe establishment of the Mahatma one institute of UNESCO. This was also Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace approved by the 35th session of the and Sustainable Development in New General Conference of UNESCO. The Delhi as a part of a UNESCO initiative. estimated expenditure for setting up the The institute aims to strengthen the institute will be `2.24 billion over a educational and knowledge base for period of seven years. promoting peace and sustainable “It will put India in the group of select development-related countries with a categoryresearch. It will be managed one institute of UNESCO. Will cost through an operational Currently, there are 11 cateagreement between gory-one UNESCO instiUNESCO and India, tutes in the world, of which according to an official. nine are located in the billion over a The executive board of developed countries, while period of UNESCO, at its 182nd the remaining two are locatseven years session held in September ed in Ethiopia and Venezu2009, recommended that ela,” the statement said.

2.24

MHRD to Decide the Future of 44 Universities Expert committee reconstituted COURT: The Supreme Court has given six weeks to an expert panel to study the replies from 44 deemed universities facing de-recognition based on findings of the P.N. Tandon Committee. On January 11, the apex court directed the central government to issue individual notices to each of the 44 deemed universities and call for explanations from each institution. The bench of Justice Dalveer Bhandari and Justice Deepak Verma has asked the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) to go through the findings of the expert committee and make recommendation on the future of these institutions. The ministry will get four weeks to act on the panel’s report. The three-member expert panel is being reconstituted as one of its members has withdrawn.

voices “The government is opening new institutions. It is also encouraging private players. But where are the teachers?” — P.C. JAIN, Principal, Sri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi

“We give out degrees, but we are not necessarily producing scholars”

—RAJEEV GOWDA, Professor, Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore

“Vocational education should be integrated with higher education to do away with the mindset that skills training is all about making your hands dirty” — KAPIL SIBAL, Union HRD Minister, Government of India

“A fast growing economy such as India needs a good education system to sustain the growth momentum”

global update

— G. VISWANATHAN, Chancellor, VIT

May 2011  EDUTECH

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VIEWPOINT

Rahul Choudaha

A “Gyan Ratna” to Engage Global Talent

I

Indian higher education is facing a crisis of academic talent. Numerous reports have shown that institutions at all levels are facing a severe shortage of faculty, resulting in unfilled vacancies and serious compromises in teaching quality. On another front, research capacity and competitiveness have remained limited to only a handful of schools and have not percolated down to the next tier. At this time of talent scarcity, large numbers of Indian students continue going abroad for doctoral education – for better career prospects and quality of life. According to the Survey of Earned Doctorates, 87% of the 11,168 doctorate recipients from India in the period 2003–09, reported intending to stay in the United States. The absence of a strategy to attract talent to India is a lost opportunity not only in terms of numbers, but also in terms

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of attracting back international best practice in research and teaching. One way to address the challenge is to implement a “brain-gain” strategy to attract Indian scholars from abroad. Kapil Sibal’s 100-day action plan had included “Formulation of a ‘Brain-Gain’ policy to attract talent from across the world to the existing and new institutions”. This was a very pertinent goal, demanding strategic and thoughtful execution. At the same time, Sam Pitroda had proposed setting up a fund of $500m to attract faculty and researchers to India. But the proposal faced criticism on at least two major fronts. Firstly, the suggested amount seemed too high in the context of resource constraints and other priorities in the higher education sector. The total budget of all 15 IITs is less than $500m. The other concern was about the demotivating effect of wage differences between India and overseas postings for return-


VIEWPOINT

Rahul Choudaha

ing academics, compared with those who had opted to stay in India in the first place.

Limited Reach While the ministry and Sam Pitroda’s intentions are commendable, I would argue that execution through monetary incentives alone would be very expensive and even inefficient. Here are some reasons why: Appeals to wrong motivations: The proposal does not appeal to the right needs of global faculty. Psychologist Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs defines five levels of need. Attracting talent through money alone aims at Basic-level needs like physiological, safety and social needs, while the approach for higher education should be to appeal to complex needs like esteem and self-actualisation, which focus on recognition and respect, prestige and the attainment of one’s potential. Takes a narrow approach: The proposal also ignores the contributions of the Indian scholars who are globally competitive but have chosen to stay in India. Likewise, there are many foreign scholars who are studying research issues related to India who have not received due recognition. The objective should not only be to attract the best Indian talent from abroad, but also to attract foreign talent to engage with Indian higher education. Thus, a comprehensive approach identifying and engaging the best talent irrespective of nationality and geography would be more effective. Ignores talent in pipeline: In 2009, US universities alone enrolled more than 16,500 Indian students in doctoral programs and awarded more than 2,250 doctorate degrees to Indian students. This is a group of highly talented future scholars who, despite studying abroad, are likely to be willing to engage with research issues of critical importance to India. Thus, opportunities to attract talent have to start early by providing support and developing a community to engage with Indian higher education irrespective of where these scholars are.

Gyan Ratna: Recognising Excellence I propose that the government appeals to the esteem and self-actualisation needs of academicians and recognises faculty through a national title like Gyan Ratna. These titles could be along the principles of Bharat Ratna, “...the highest civilian honour, given for exceptional service towards advancement of Art, Literature and Science, and in recognition of Public Service of the highest order”. While Bharat Ratna awards

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The HRD Ministry could award Gyan Ratna to educators, scholars and academic leaders who have made exemplary contributions in the fields of education and research related to India are highly selective – only 41 awards to date – Gyan Ratna could be more broad-based and have, say, 10-15 titles every year, irrespective of nationality and geography. The HRD Ministry could award Gyan Ratna to educators, scholars and academic leaders who have made exemplary contributions in the field of education and research related to India. Several criteria could be defined to ensure title-holders are achievers in their respective fields of work, have made significant contributions to research related to India and are committed to contributing to Indian education in future. Given the proliferation of technology and the virtualisation of work, scholars should not be expected to be physically located in India. They could continue to engage and contribute to research and development related to India from abroad. Of course, a title alone would not attract the best talent. It is, though, one major suggestion to attract global talent interested in engaging with India, regardless of geography and nationality. The strategy would need to be implemented as part of other policy approaches such as creating incentive systems, supporting infrastructure and building a research ecosystem. However, a Gyan Ratna has the ability to build aspiration and attractiveness in the education sector, which is in dire need of increased quality, efficiency and professionalism. The key to the success of such an award would be to motivate global scholars to engage with issues important to India and create long-term transition paths in a cost-effective manner. Subscribe to the daily electronic newsletter from EDU at http://edu-leaders.com/content/newsletters

Rahul Choudaha A higher education specialist based out of New York, Dr Choudaha specialises in strategic management of higher education, institution building, collaborations and market development. He holds a PhD in higher education from the University of Denver, an MBA from NITIE, Mumbai and BE from Jabalpur University. He can be reached at rahul.choudaha@eduleaders.com


ADVERTORIAL- CISCO

Learning on the Go T

oday’s college and university students are dynamic, mobile, and technology-savvy. They arrive on campus with an array of mobility-enabled devices including PDAs, gaming devices, cameras, phones, and laptops. At home they roam wirelessly— downloading music, chatting, texting, and sharing blogs and videos on YouTube. This connected generation is un-tethered from wires and use wireless LAN to download course material, perform administrative tasks (including dealing with registration, grades, parking), and access social networking sites. For this student generation in motion, the air is the Internet. Faculty members use wireless networks to streamline administrative tasks, alert students about grades, keep tab on class schedules and improve class collaboration. Administrators and staff see wireless networking as a means to improve campus operations, reduce operational costs and enhance productivity using email, instant messaging and calendars. Visitors such as prospective students, alumni, parents, visiting lecturers, and conference attendees use secure wireless access to engage collaboratively and access offcampus resources. This means mobility solutions implemented by higher education institutions must not only meet the needs of this mobile student generation, but also cost-effectively address the requirements of the faculty, staff, administrators, and visi-

AVINASH PURWAR,

Senior Vice President – Borderless Networks, Cisco India & SAARC

tors. In order to enhance student learning experience and ensure campus safety and security, many educational institutions are exploring mobility solutions that provide access to the internet on campus, student hostels, faculty and staff homes, sporting venues, and community spaces. Technology in education Increased use of internet technologies like Web 2.0, multimedia, virtual presence, gaming, and the proliferation of next-generation mobile devices are transforming the education environment and the workplace as well. According to a global survey on how technology can enhance learning, more than three-quarters of top education (85 percent) around the world felt technology can play a major role in how students learn and how teachers educate.

Citing the impact technology can have in encouraging student engagement and participation, 86 percent of the educators felt the need for programs and curriculum that enable students to develop skills in team and project-based learning and improve communications with parents, faculty and staff. They felt that utilizing tools like a networked PC; teachers can personalize teaching and learning to address the different levels of proficiency of each student. They believe that technology can provide innovative approaches to education while also reducing the overall cost of providing education. Educators today see technology as a means to "do more with less" and become more efficient. 21st century teaching and learning mobility solutions for education provide robust foundation for next-generation learning using web-enabled tools, Web 2.0 applications, and context-based applications. Built on a unified wireless network that combine the best elements of wireless and wired networking, these solutions provide anywhere, anytime access to web based applications such as webcasts, podcasts, videocasts, wikis, and RSS feeds. Advanced communication services such as voice, video, and web collaboration ensure that the school, college, or university communicates in the most effective and efficient manner possible with their students and staff. Rich media collaboration tools expand the reach of education to remote learners, provide

rich interactive environments for online classes, and enable collaborative online conversations between faculty and students. Technologies like telepresence help improve accessibility, reduce the cost of delivering education remotely and allow educators to be more effective and productive in teaching across geographies while also decreasing the cost of travel. "Presence" technology is also becoming an emerging factor in teacher training and staff development areas while the availability of collaboration tools is fostering new "projectbased" learning environments. Mobility solutions that enable network connections to PCs, laptops, PDAs, printers, video cameras, video conferencing units, IP phones and other devices, make school resources more widely available and improve communication among students, faculty, parents and administrators. Video, digital signage, IPTV systems and social networking help transform how teachers, faculty, students, and teachers collaborate. Innovative technology tools and applications that meet and exceed teaching and learning requirements help to increase global competitiveness in education and expand learning beyond the walls of a physical classroom. A greater "virtual" student body implies more enriched learning opportunities, diversified faculty, and more expert viewpoints —all of which help to set up new networked economies the world over.

May 2011  EDUTECH

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VIEWPOINT

Dheeraj Sanghi

What Price Good Engineering Education?

I

t’s a common refrain across the country: Only 25% of our engineering graduates are employable. Usually, all detractors alike – students, parents, industry leaders and politicians – make private engineering colleges the whipping boys for this state of affairs. But shouldn’t state governments also be held responsible? All states have a committee to set tuition fees in engineering colleges. These committees invariably set such low fees that it’s impossible for private schools to pay even the minimum that governments pay their own teachers. Let’s do some back-of-the-envelope calculations on this. AICTE stipulates that the teacher-student ratio be 1 to 15. The Council further requires that the ratio of teachers in terms of professors, associate professors and assistant professors be 1 to 2 to 4. If we combine these two regulatory requirements, it’s clear that for 105 students, we need at least one professor, two associate professors and four assistant professors. If an engineering college has to provide quality of education comparable to the lowest-level government institutes, it must have similar faculty

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numbers. This means it has to pay salaries similar to what governments are paying today to their teachers in state engineering colleges. Looking at the total cost of hiring a professor today, after the adoption of the sixth pay commission recommendations, this amount is no less than 1.2million (including pay, cost of all perks, pension benefits, etc.). Similarly, an associate professor costs no less than 100,000 a year, and an assistant professor, 700,000. So, for 105 students, the minimum salary outgo on faculty has to be 600,000 (12 + 10 * 2 + 7 * 4). Considering that at least a handful of professors – directors, deans, heads and the like – will be paid more, and everyone needs an annual increment, it is reasonable to assume at least 700,000 will be spent on faculty salaries alone, if all AICTE norms are followed and salary structure is the same as the government colleges.

The Cost of Salaries Typically, salaries are about a third of total costs in an engineering college. This includes salaries of


Dheeraj Sanghi

technical staff, administrative staff, outsourced staff for simple tasks and labs, and the basic infrastructure itself (assuming loans for basic infrastructure are paid through tuition). The minimum cost of engineering education, therefore, will be about 200,000 a year. Doing a sanity check on this number, one notices the cost of education at lower-ranked National Institutes of Technology is indeed around this figure. I’m very curious to know how fees committees in the states come up with numbers like 50,000 per year (or even less) as tuition fee at their engineering colleges, when anyone could compute these numbers so easily. What State governments are essentially saying is that they are not bothered about quality, and don’t care about AICTE norms. Is there any wonder, then, that most graduates of these colleges are not employable? The obvious question now is, if the cost is so high, and tuition so poor, then why is there a long queue of promoters interested in opening colleges? It’s an important question. To answer it, one has to see the real operations of these colleges. They depend on a large number of ad hoc teachers who they’ll pay as little as 100,000 a year. Typically, these are the poor-quality

advts.indd 56

graduates deemed unfit by industry for any kind of job. On top of this, no college maintains faculty, or any other resource, of the level AICTE expects. And, when a team of inspectors visits a college, the school either brings in top-up resources that day, or the team members who know the real state of fee regulation, ignore the shortcomings, and the whole charade continues. Serious quality players do not want to enter the education sector, since the only way to operate in this environment is by violating guidelines and then paying bribes to avoid being caught. They will rather enter only as universities, as fee regulation is not yet applicable to them in most states. Though, it should be noted, that some states have started controlling fees charged by universities. Not all is lost, however. There are things governments, promoters and the management of academic institutions can do to make access to quality engineering education more affordable. In the next edition, I will talk about ways funding can be sourced to improve the quality of engineering courses. Subscribe to the daily electronic newsletter from EDU at http://edu-leaders.com/content/newsletters

VIEWPOINT

Dheeraj Sanghi Dr Sanghi is the former director of Laxmi Narayan Mittal Institute of Information Technology, Jaipur. He is a professor of computer science at IIT, Kanpur. Dr Sanghi has a BTech in computer science from IIT Kanpur and an MS and a PhD from University of Maryland, USA . He can be reached at dheeraj.sanghi@eduleaders.com

12/22/2009 3:02:47 PM


COVER STORY

Training

TLC

For Teachers Can educators be made more effective and efficient through teaching and learning centres? BY SMITA POLITE & ROHINI BANERJEE

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COVER STORY

BY ANIL T

Teaching & Learning Centres

T

BY SUBHOJIT PAUL,

here are disputes over the DNA of a “good teacher”. If an ordinary human being has 46 chromosomes in her body, it’s argued that a teacher has two extra. Which is why, it is said, they can sense a chewing gum. Or, they know instinctively when the boy in the second-last row starts texting his friend in the front bench. It is also estimated that a good teacher can eat his lunch in two-minutes flat without even looking at it. (A great one, it is said, does not require nourishment.) Jokes apart, teachers are a worthy lot. Never quite the hero when things go right and always the first to be blamed when things don’t, most of them carry on in a stressful and demanding profession because they are passionate about their calling. However, is it enough to be just passionate? Particularly a novice professor, entering a classroom filled with students not much younger than her? Perhaps for her, a little training goes a long way. If not training, then words of advice from a senior. With more institutions of higher learning being established in India, the country’s scarce pool of professors is getting even smaller. How does the higher education sector hope to sustain itself and carry on teaching an increasing number of Indian students in such a scenario? Who trains its newest batch of novice professors, especially in the “Gen-Y classrooms” that depend more on the net and web than pedagogical best practices that focus on rote learning? The answer may very well lie in teaching and learning centres. Not institutes, but platforms where dedicated professors can discuss, analyse, mull and learn from their peers, seniors and experts. There are examples of such centres in the west. However, is Indian higher education sector ready to invest time, interest and a bit of resource in the concept?

May 2011  EDUTECH

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COVER STORY

Training

There is little reason to believe that because students understand or remember information long enough to sit for a test, they necessarily remember that information when they need it the most. A growing body of evidence suggests that in traditional educational environments, students don't always change the way they think. Thus, they don't change the way they act. Though it is difficult to judge what entails good teaching, the more fortunate among us may have experienced it. A good teacher is usually an effective one, who leaves a sustained, substantial and positive influence on the way students think and act. He or she is both knowledgeable and passionate. In India, good teachers are hard to come by.

TLCs help a teacher generate options through peer dialogues and workshops —Jeff Froyd

Director, Division of Academic Development, Texas A&M University

Reality Check By 2020, the Centre plans to boost India's gross enrolment ratio (GER) to 30% from the present 13.5%. Speaking at a three-day higher education conference in New Delhi, Kapil Sibal, the Minister for Human Resource Development, said, “Even if we achieve the target ratio, India will still lag behind developed

countries like the US where the current gross enrolment ratio is 70%.” In a bid to raise the GER, “model degree colleges” will be set up under centrally-sponsored schemes in several states. The first in line is Karnataka, where 20 such colleges will be established. The state government will provide land for free and colleges will be established at a cost of Rs 8 crore each. In all, 374 such colleges will be set up across India, especially in regions where the GER is below the national average. This will only compound the problem confronting the Indian higher education sector – more institutions being added to existing ones, with commensurate addition of faculty. If Indian higher education is to be at par with the West, it will need a much bigger pool of teachers. In 2010, the Union health ministry decided to amend the postgraduate medical education regulations and revise the student-teacher ratio in medical colleges from 1:1 to 2:1 to enable colleges increase seats in PG courses. That created a furore. Experts opined that the increased ratio could corrode the quality of medical education.

TLCs in a Nutshell AIM

The of a TLC is to support teaching and learning and improve quality to enable both staff and students to be their best. Thus, a sense of purpose is a necessity. Unless a need for such a centre is felt by the sector’s key players (teachers), the meaning is lost. So, setting up a TLC should be a decision made by the administration, management and the faculty together.

SPACE

is a need, however, it is not a necessity. There are several examples of virtual TLCs across the world. Virtual TLCs can connect campuses across a region, or break beyond geographies. In India, virtual TLCs as a pilot project could be a good place to start. Later, if the concept becomes successful, it could be moved beyond the virtual classroom.

TOOLS designed specifically help run TLCs more effectively. They may be

virtual repositories with pedagogical literature or software such as Teamviewer that lets teachers share presentations; Zotero which helps collect, manage, and cite research sources; Photoshop Express, the free online photo editing tool; Scriblink, an online whiteboard; or Microsoft LCDS that lets teachers create e-learning syllabus and content are just some of the programmes that are used across the world to enable TLCs. The good news is that these are easy to install in most of the IT rooms in any institutions.


Training

This brings us to the second problem – improving quality of existing Indian institutions will require specialised teachers, an entire batch of them. Compounding the problem is the growing list of mandates from the Centre and UGC. In 2010, UGC regulations for PG programmes made it mandatory for universities to have at least one teacher for every 10 students for science and media and mass communication studies, one teacher for every 15 pupils for humanities, social sciences and commerce and management. Undergraduate programmes needed to have at least one teacher for every 15 students in the media and mass communication departments, while the teacher-student ratio needed to be 1:30 for social sciences and 1:25 for the science stream. Again, another UGC rule: “Regulations on minimum qualifications for appointment of teachers and other academic staff in universities and colleges and measures for maintenance of standards in higher education”, declared that colleges would have professors – posts which were reserved for university

Effective teaching is the core mission of universities —Lucinda. M. Finley

Vice Provost (Faculty Affairs), University of Buffalo

departments. (Before this, a teacher could move up to the rank of an associate professor in a college.) Also, it mandated that 10% of the posts for professors in a university will consist of “senior” professors, with over 10 years of experience. New provisions also stated that undergraduate colleges (without postgraduate departments) will have professors, 10% of the number of

TIME

RESOURCES

most requested by US faculty from the TLCs are consultation, evaluation, and improvement. In the US, where mid-term student feedback is an important part of a professors calender, assistance in interpreting and responding to mid-term and end quarter student evaluations is an integral part of several TLCs. Seminars and discipline-based teaching lunches with colleagues are also popular.

COVER STORY

associate professors. It was mandated that the college professors will be selected according to the same criterion as university professors. There was to be a professor in each department in a postgraduate college.

New Ball Game Our country may have a host of teachers’ training colleges, specialising in training

has to be made to train the trainers. TLCs can operate as a summer or fall programme conducted when an institute closes, or monthly or bi-monthly event. The best part about the centres is that they may be customised according to needs. Some US universities run weekly programmes with teachers as well.

PROGRAMME MENU

should be A chalked up before establishing a TLC. Assistance that may be offered includes teaching consultation, evaluation and improvement; interpretation of student feedback, course evaluations, DVD recording of classes, course design resources, meetings with award winning teachers on teaching; instructional design working groups; technology assistance, new or junior faculty assistance, conferences and speakers on teaching, oral communication; TA training; and pedagogical literature searches.


COVER STORY

Training

students to be better teachers for schools and colleges. But, professors don’t usually queue up to attend them. College and university professors are either PhDs or are required to pass the National Entrance Test (NET) to qualify as an assistant or associate professor. Once they pass the test, it’s straight off to class. Many among these fresh batch of professors join new institutions, where they don’t even have (older) peers to consult. As Pankaj Jalote, Director of Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Delhi, explains: “IIIT is a fairly new institute. Therefore, it has a very young faculty. Our teachers never had any role models or seniors to look up to. It was this reality that made us realise that IIIT needed to start something to help our teachers.” Feeling this need for training for his new batch of teachers, professor Jalote contacted his friend, Satish Tripathy, Provost, University of Buffalo. Tripathy led him to Jason Adsit, director of the teaching and learning centre at University of Buffalo, one of the several universities to have a teaching and learning centre. “Through my discussions with Adsit and later with my colleagues, I realised that lack of mentorship was a problem in every new institute coming up across the country,” says Jalote. The result of this discussion was a Indo-US workshop on pedagogical practices that was attended by directors of IITs and IIITs, and trainers from University of Buffalo and Texas A&M University. The aim of the workshop was threefold: to mull the need to have dedicated centres where teachers could congregate and discuss better pedagogical practices, to create such a centre in India, and formulate a “best practices handbook” on classroom pedagogy.

Teaching and Learning Centres Universities in the USA, the UK and Australia recognised the need for teachers’ training a while ago. Today, several of them have dedicated teaching and learning centres (TLCs). These are not to be mistaken for departments of education or teachers’ training centres. TLCs

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EDUTECH  May 2011

dedicate themselves not so much to “training” professors, but serve as a platform for experts, in-house or from outside, to congregate and discuss pedagogy and its systems. And they serve as repository where pedagogical research is contained for future reference. According to the University of Buffalo’s website, a TLC “provides opportunities for faculty to enhance excellence as teachers by disseminating knowledge through workshops, speakers, programmes, discussion groups and consultations, about the teaching and learning process, about skills and methods to enhance teaching and learning, and about how to utilise effectively and innovatively the latest developments in information technology and media to enrich course content and presentation and enhance student’s educational experience”. The TLCs also provide, “small, groupbased or one-on-one instructions on technology-enhanced teaching methods and specific software applications. Individualised assistance with technology skills, as well as customised group instruction sessions are also provided”. So, whether one is a full-time or part-time faculty, adjunct,

lecturer, teaching or research assistant, librarian, or the campus-wide IT staff – TLCs are help centres for all. Adsit sums up, “It’s a platform really, which allows the renewal of passion in teaching. It ensures that a teacher’s enthusiasm stays intact. It prevents bureaucracy from seeping into the system by allowing teachers to take control of the classroom and related decisions. It allows reflection on the purpose of teaching. For India, the concept should be easy to adopt. There is so much content out there that it can resort to.”

Too Few Examples Taking a leaf out of the US example, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras went about establishing a TLC. “It took the IIT administration and management two years to convince its professors and staff that the idea could work here. After the decision was made, a team from the University of Buffalo and Texas A&M visited the Chennai campus for a three-day workshop,” explains professor M.S. Ananth, former director of IIT Madras. The second example of such a centre is at Indian Institute of Management (IIM)

An important distinction is often made while starting a TLC. Should it be dedicated to teaching...or faculty development? —Linda B. Nilson

Director, Office of Teaching Effectiveness and Innovation, Clemson University


Teaching & Learning Centres COVER STORY Teaching & Learning Centres COVER STORY

Bangalore. It maintains its own teaching and learning centre for excellence, which supports faculty in promoting teaching excellence and develop existing teaching skills, and helps develop innovative teaching and learning in management education based on research methods. The centre is run by specially appointed committee made up of faculty members.

Getting it Right “When we began to teach, most of us didn’t know how to go about it. We were thrown into classrooms. We were expected to figure it all out by ourselves. Some of us did so quickly. Several never quite did it. Effective teaching is absolutely the core mission of all universities, either research or non-research based. If any university wishes to do justice to this mission, it has to help its faculty become both excellent teachers and scholars. Teaching and learning centres perform this double duty – they help us become not only excellent teachers, but scholars, too. And that is why they are so needed. Whether in India or elsewhere,” believes Lucinda M. Finley, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law. “Sometimes, students learn because of the teacher. Sometimes, they learn despite the teachers. For me the same argument stands in favour or against teaching and learning centres. There are teachers who walked in and taught successfully, despite never having stepped into such a centre. That is because there is no dearth of intrinsic talent, i.e. talented teachers. Several of them teach without training. They enter a class for the first time, and by their third they have a clear notion of what is the ‘right’ way. “If one refers to the book Mistakes Were Made, But Not By Me, teachers tend to generate workable options for themselves – and according to their rationale, believe them to be ‘right’. What TLCs do, is that they help a teacher generate options through discussions, peer dialogues and workshops. And, provide content, literature and research which the centres are supposed to generate on the profession, developed by experts,”

Grabbing Attention I

n India, classroom misdemeanour may not be as big a problem like some parts of the globe. That’s because social values mandate that the youth respect elders and teachers. But, Indian classrooms have not been able to escape bad behaviour entirely. Good behaviour of students promotes positive learning in a classroom. Disruptive behaviour makes it difficult for both students to learn and problematic for a teacher to teach. Annoying or disruptive behaviour may take several forms. It could be as casual as a student coming in late, falling asleep during a class, being disrespectful, or electronic misbehaviour (texting or using the laptop for entertainment rather than learning). It is also true that a young instructor often finds it doubly difficult to command attention. There are no “to do” manuals for teachers. Simple, strictly professional and ethical behaviour go a long way in preventing indispline in class. What a teacher needs to do is to command class attention by manifesting charisma. A Different Skill Set But teaching at the end of the day is a performance. So, treat the class or the podium as the stage. It should move the audience (students) enough to make them wish to learn more. Like in a performance, pause – especially in key places. That pause also gives the student the time to get back to their notes, give it a once over and try to understand the gaps or simply form questions. It is also the time when a teacher gets time to collect their thoughts and take a breather. Good teachers punctuate and enunciate each word and sentence. Learning something new is difficult enough. And when students don't hear half of the things, they soon lose interest and misdemeanour starts. Gesturing is a great way of catching people's attention. And while a teacher uses all these tools to connect, she should also understand that catching a student's eye is also a major way to connecting. Eye contact makes a student feel visible and is a warm gesture. Exercise to Teach Before a class, here are some exercises that teachers can perform. Sounds a little silly, we know. But because performing and teaching are quite similar – these may actually help in some scenarios. The point is: to each his own. Thus, adopt only those tricks that help you to make things better in the classroom. The objective is to have an enthralled audience. Some exercises that actors and singers perform are scale, stretching and breathing exercises, and exercises that boost vocal variety. Especially in the West, several teachers use these exercises to get themselves ready for class. However, bad behaviour is not always the students' fault. Maybe that's why some students are getting a more meaningful conversation from their mobiles.

May 2011  EDUTECH

19


COVER STORY

Training

Not Enough is Being Done to Train India s Scarce Faculty How did the idea of the workshop come up? You know that the Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Delhi, is a fairly young institute. Therefore, it has a very young and fresh faculty. Because of that, our teachers are novices who never had any role models, or seniors to look up to. This made us realise that IIIT needexd to start something to help our teachers. Around the same time, I was reading a book, What Do Best Teachers Do?, which impressed me. I contacted my good friend, Satish Tripathy, who is the Provost at the University of Buffalo, asking for his help to find out more literature related to pedagogy. He led me to Jason Adsit, director of the teaching and learning centre at Buffalo. Through our discussions, I realised that the problem was prevalent in every new institute coming up in India. So, together, we sort of decided to include more than just IIIT people.

Why do we need TLCs in India? Whatever models we have to train our teachers, those

asserts Jeff Froyd, director, division of academic development at the Texas A&M University. A teacher’s professional life comprises some key decisions: how am I going to set the syllabus? How am I going to assess my students? How much time should I devote to a topic? All these decisions are taken by faculty across the world based on their own, limited experience. What a TLC does is offer more options in such a scenario, along with evidences based on accumulated research helping academics make more informed choices. Another reason for establishing a TLC could be that experts don’t necessarily make great teachers. Take the IITs, for instance, which regularly bring in “subject experts” to conduct special classes.

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EDUTECH  May 2011

have failed. Not enough is being done to train the already scarce resource called faculty. Models that the government has set up before have failed. We don't really have a concept of 'effective teaching'. We need TLCs even more, because we are so short of teachers, and we need to train whoever we have. They, in turn, can train the next generation. In the US, they have 10 to 12 people helping nearly 2,000 members of the faculty. In India, our institutions are even smaller. So there is no doubt that the TLCs will work even better here.

When you talk of TLCs, what structure do you think of putting it in? When US colleges and universities started the TLCs, they pursued most of the courses, sessions or activities parttime. When these started to work, only then were they translated into full-fledged courses. We, in India, can start small too. And then when an India specific model for training works out we can move into it full-time.

The idea is that because an expert knows a topic well, he automatically does a “great” job teaching it. But, teaching is often an acquired skill. It requires training, practice and a different kind of expertise altogether. This gap between being just an expert and being an expert in teaching, an on-campus TLC can fill. When a university conducts a training session, it usually is not questioning a teacher’s sincerity. If a philosophy teacher goes to a hospital and says that he’s not a trained doctor, but he sincerely wishes to cure a patient, he will not be entertained. By asking teachers to receive training, a university is not questioning a teacher’s dedication towards his profession, but asking him to improve and grow even further. And it is

true that most people believe that teaching is “easy”. “A teacher won’t be allowed to build a bridge. But, an engineer is allowed to teach. It is because, every one automatically assumes that any one can teach. I hope for the sake of students that the assumption is true,” jokes Froyd. His comment, however, uncovers a deeper truth – that the academic world requires a “dual specialised person”. Not just an expert teacher, but a specialist who’s an expert teacher. And if we believe the experts, teaching and learning centres are a step in that direction.

The Feasibility Factor In trying to establish a TLC, the first step, according to Surendra Prasad, Director, IIT Delhi, is the awareness that


Training

What would you say were the key outcomes of this workshop? I must say that from the time I started to the time when the workshop ended, we had become even more ambitious. Right from the start, though, we knew that one of the main objectives would be to construct a handbook or a guidebook for the teachers. There were 30-40 experts who attended the event. By the end of it, we knew that most of what was said will be forgotten. So, the need was to collate all information. That outcome was decided from the start. The second outcome that we kind of decided was that perhaps this workshop would become the start or seed to start similar centres in India. We wanted to start a conversation. That is why we invited the directors of top institutions such as IIT and IIITs to the conference. The third input that we wish to take away is IIIT specific. As was discussed bigger institutions may not be able to establish such centres because they have too much on their plate already. So that's where smaller places like ours come into the picture.

TLCs are needed. “Teaching and learning centres have to treat teachers as they are. Understanding the context is cardinal. Whatever experiments that we have to do has to be within an institutional framework. One cannot just take any model and impose it on the Indian reality,” adds Sanjay Dhande, Director, IIT Kanpur. Points that need to be examined before setting up a TLC include: W hat is its bigger goal, agenda or purpose? Should it be geographically specific, or be a virtual centre extending beyond regional specificities? Should it be a separate, stand-alone centre, or an on-campus entity? Should it have a separate, full-time

COVER STORY

I realised that lack of mentorship was a prevalent problem in every new institute coming up across the country —Pankaj Jalote

Director, IIIT New Delhi

director running programmes, or could an institute director serve the purpose? Should it promote mandatory or voluntary attendance? These questions may lead to several answers and an equally large number of models that a TLC may be based upon. This means that there is not a singular model. As Pankaj Jalote suggests, “What we need to do is to start small pilot projects across geographies. Starting large-scale will be a mistake. If we start small, there is a greater chance of experimentation. And each area, which could mean an institute, or a geography, can perfect their own model based on their needs.” However, the consensus is clear. Setting up a TLC requires four basic components:


COVER STORY

Training

• Willing participants: Teachers should be willing to take part in the process. Most professors believe that making TLCs mandatory will create a certain level of miscommunication. Teachers should be willing to improve themselves. • Time: Between deciding a content, teaching, assessment and research, professors have little time to pursue anything else. Thus, should there be a special time for TLCs? • Resources: Materials such as black or whiteboards, technology enabling powerpoint presentations and experts to teach the participants. • Space Linda B. Nilson, Director, Office of Teaching Effectiveness and Innovation at the Clemson University, South Carolina, points out: “An important distinction is often made while starting a TLC. Should it be a centre dedicated purely to the craft of teaching? Or should it move beyond mere teachers’ training to the more overarching concern which is ‘faculty development’. The latter is more preferable and you see the more successful TLCs in the US adopting it. It allows faculty a space of their own, where they feel safe. It lets them know that the management and the administration value teachers and their expertise. Just as institutions invest in their students, they must invest in their faculty.”

Qualitative Assessment Trying to assess if teacher training is actually working is tricky. However, in the US, the UK and in Australia, where on campus TLCs are more common, qualitative data is collected after each session. These may be written or oral assessment of the workshop, follow-up interviews, students’ evaluation of the professor before and after attending a session, and a professor’s assessment. “I do get to see the strongest reaction among the professors who attend. In the way a faculty member perceives himself after a session. There is a level of satisfaction. Most of them rely on selfassessment reports, which they obtain through students’ reaction in class vis-avis attendance, civil behaviour and

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Effective Teaching in the Classroom W

hat are the three words that one could use to describe good or effective lecture, vis-a-vis an ineffective or a bad one? Jason Adsit, director of the Teaching and Learning Center at the University of Buffalo, shared useful tips that we believe will make the task clearer to not only young faculty, but to old-timers too. Three main points of an “effective” lecture are participation, engagement and information. Thus, steps to an effective lecture ideally should be:

Planning Don’t ever wing it. Don’t be too fond of the sound of your voice and carry on about a subject, or a lecture. Always pause and gauge whether students are listening. Ask questions, arrange the class into groups and then pit them against one another in a debate. Avoid tyranny of content Don’t overdo things so much so that you are overwhelmed by what needs to be covered and in how much time. Know your audience Remember that lectures are not about “teaching”, it’s all about “student learning”. Remember the first time that as a student you learnt a new concept or idea – thus a little empathy would go a long way. Create a complete lecture Focus on an introduction, body and conclusion. The introduction should set the context straight. It should let students know what the content is, how it relates to the discipline and why they need to learn it. The body is the main lecture, but it should be punctuated with pauses and interactions, just to keep it lively and interesting.


Training

It s a platform really, which allows the renewal of passion in teaching. —Jason Adsit

Director, Teaching and Learning Centre, University of Buffalo

COVER STORY

response during exams. Most of the teachers in my schools report a marked improvement,” says Finley. Quantitative data is hard to come by, as there are no “perfectly controlled experiments” that have been conducted in each field. Defending TLCs, Rajeev Sangal, Director of IIIT Hyderabad, says: “More training is always a great idea. Some people have raised the question whether such a centre would work in a researchbased institute. I believe teaching and research universities are not in contention. They should help each other. Such a centre, on any Indian campus, could be accessed by all professors for discussion and training.”

Conclusion Engage your audience Remember that teaching is a bit of a performance art. Visual back–ups are essential There are evil PowerPoint presentations and great ones. Matter of fact, to the point and brief presentations fall in the latter category. Quality control Before any such presentation mandatory checks of links and technology is a must. But one cannot prevent botch-ups. In case there is a failure of server or backup power, keep a back-up plan. Enthusiasm Try to demonstrate why an information is important to the students. Appreciate the topic that you are teaching. Keep conversations and dialogues flowing by asking questions that elicit response. Ask questions Prepare a set of questions that you will ask at the end of the class. Instead of just asking if there are “any questions” be specific. Answer questions Always answer questions that are being asked. If you can’t, come back to it in the next class. Reflect on the class Do a post-mortem of the class that was. Don’t be afraid to take risks At the end of the day there are no “right” or “wrong” ways of conducting lectures. There are only “effective” and “ineffective” ways.

At the IIIT Delhi seminar professors compared teaching to a stage performance. Because there is a definite audience. Because professors need to catch that audience’s attention. For that reason alone, one can call teaching a “craft” – a skill. If it is indeed a skill, then it may be learnt. TLCs are training grounds and platforms where young professors can seek mentorship from their seniors. Seniors can discuss specific problems. Peers can consult each other, or experts to solve specific problems. Professors can receive training in technology-based education. They can discuss problems, get inputs from peers, and then arrive at a conclusion on how to tackle that problem. It’s a discussion board. Ideas can be bounced off. There could be oneon-one consultations, workshops, seminars and presentations. Each TLC may be custom made according to the requirements of an institute or a university.  India has a scarce resource pool of professors. And a smaller pool of “good” professors. If foreign universities start poaching from this pool, then India will have a serious “professor problem”. With the Centre expected to work towards a robust GER and with new institutions being formed every day, the answer to bridging the student-professor ratio gap may lie in TLCs. May 2011  EDUTECH

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Green Valley? How

is My

What inspires an academic to kiss the home soil goodbye and set sail? The Chronicle Of Higher Education posed the question to academics in three countries – India, UK and Canada. Here’s what they had to say...

Professors willing to travel for better opportunities KEYS Considered position for a year outside the home country Considered position for three years and longer Considered travelling for research purposes only

86% 52.6% 6.4% Who’s Bitten More by the Travel Bug?

60.5% 43.2% MALE

FEMALE


Careers

58.8% 7.7% 93.8%

SURVEY

Which Indian group is travelling more than the rest? We give you the specialists ... ACADEMIC LEADER

6.6%

FULL PROFESSOR

6.3%

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR

7%

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR

7.4%

INSTRUCTOR

7.2%

RESEARCHER, SCIENTIST

7.3% 3 years and longer

61%

49%

43%

39%

37%

35%

34%

33%

27%

21%

Research Opportunities

Their Top Ten

Why do Indian academics travel overseas? Here are the major reasons

Peer Interaction

Career Growth

International Position

Build Reputation

Cultural Interests

Greater Ability to Publish Research

Better Compensation

Build New Programmes from Ground Up

56% 6.5% 65.6%

Proximity to Research Area

May 2011  EDUTECH

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"I can’t imagine producing university graduates without technology"

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Larry Johnson

Giant Leap AHEAD LARRY JOHNSON BORN: December 17, 1950 RECOGNITIONS: Distinguished Graduate, The University of Texas at Austin, 2000 AMERICAN Association of Community Colleges Sloan Research Award, 1997 AMERICAN Association of University Administrators Goodman Malamuth Research Award, 1994 CURRENT ENGAGEMENT: CEO, New Media Consortium, Texas, USA

Larry Johnson, CEO of New Media Consortium, talks to EDU about how the organisation develops technology and propagates it to universities across the world BY SMITA POLITE

EDU: Why was the New Media Consortium set up and who were the people involved? Larry Johnson: The New Media Consortium (NMC) was founded in 1992 by Apple, Adobe, Sony and Macromedia. At that time, the world was a very different place when it came to technology, and the future looked like it was going to be all multimedia. No one talked about the internet because it was invented only a year later, in 1993. John Sculley, the then-CEO of Apple, was struck that the US had no capacity to develop multimedia. So he decided to build centres of expertise in multimedia at universities across the country. It began with Stanford and, by 1993, 22 more centres came up. The challenge started when each of the companies spent millions of dollars to do the initial funding. May 2011  EDUTECH

BY SUBHOJIT PAUL

ONE

DIALOGUE

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DIALOGUE

Larry Johnson

What is NMC’s mission? Our mission has changed with developments in technology. With the advent of the internet, we started focusing on networks and email. The arrival of wireless changed things again. We aim to help our member institutions become aware of the opportunities that come with new technologies, create demonstration projects so that they can understand how to use them effectively and, in doing so, help these institutions become more competitive. Our mission: to anticipate where technology is going and be there already, ahead of the crowd. Which projects is the New Media Consortium working on? The NMC's focus is the Horizon Project. It started in 2002 and has evolved over the years. It focuses on understanding how emerging technology is adopted worldwide. For example, in North America, universities are adopting the latest technology based on their interests. We are planning to start a similar project in Africa and other developing countries. Challenges equal opportunities because there is no burden of investment. We are also interested in a number of pedagogical projects. One of them is challenge-based learning. It’s a simple idea. Today, kids are worried about the future, global warming and how they will sustain food to support their families. School doesn’t seem relevant to them. Challenge-based learning turns learning around and says to the class: “What are the problems that you care about? Let’s take those problems and turn them into learning opportunities.”

Apart from this, we also help colleges make better decisions about the use of technology and strategic planning around technology.

What role do technology companies and institutions involved in the consortium play? We work with many technology companies and each of them has a different model. At present, we are working with HP on global and social innovation. Our role in that project is to serve as an advisor, to help them understand how to build a community that contributes ideas. We are a strategic partner with Apple. We are involved with them in how they are pursuing their initiatives in education. Some companies are more interested in reaching directly into our membership like Adobe. Companies like Adobe sell their products to universities, which aim at obtaining that product at a good rate. Our role is to serve as a sales channel. Generally, we pick a handful of companies to work with, and people who are willing to make a difference in education. What role does the NMC play in academic institutions? Our university members come to us because they want to be a part of the community of innovators. On campuses, it’s tough to get professional development and be a part of the community that challenges you, makes you think and do your job better. This is where the role of the NMC comes in: to help people on campuses have access to the latest research and ideas and facilitate conversations between them. We are passion-

“Technology means understanding culture, the way people work with each other, getting things done, 24x7” 28

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ate, we care about innovation, creativity and imagination. Universities choose to align with us on that.

What role does technology play in higher education today? It’s a complicated road. The role of technology in higher education is as varied as the landscape of higher education itself. It’s hard to imagine anyone graduating from a university without having a wide range of technical skills. You can’t have a real professional job if you do not possess 21st century skills – presentation, communication and the ability to access information. Technology is also about social interaction and bringing people together. We have seen that a lot in recent situations. Take Egypt for example. A small group of passionate people put together a Facebook page that toppled the government in just two weeks. Egypt is a modern country in many ways. It’s a lot like India too. It has big rural parts where there is nothing going on. It’s a country where the government could halt the internet if it wanted to, and it did twice. But the social network in Egypt was so robust that it didn’t allow the internet to go away. People found ways to trace satellite signals and bounced them around to keep it alive and keep the social communication going. I can’t imagine producing university graduates without technology. Technology is no longer about using computers to edit videos or finding things on the internet. It means understanding culture, the way people work, getting things done 24x7. It also means locating the world’s resources and analysing how things around the world happen. I don’t see how universities can ignore it. Until a few years ago, there were computer labs with fibre-optic cables. But now, there are devices like the iPad and the iPhone. Today, technology is more about how you use it rather than about how you provide it. How different are the realities of technology adoption and use? At one level, they are not different at all. If you look at the range of


Larry Johnson

DIALOGUE

We help colleges to make better decisions about the use of technology and strategic planning technologies, the big list is the same in India, North and South America and Australia. It’s regional constraints that make it different everywhere. So, for example, in India you have a phenomenon where school happens under a tree, and there really is no infrastructure. Yet at the same time, you have cell phones all over the country. So it’s just natural, in that case, that mobile is going to be different here. Whereas in the United States, phones are banned in schools. In most schools, if you bring a phone, the principal will take it away from you because there they see it as a behaviour issue. It’s fundamentally just a difference in perspective. Differences in technology adoption and use can also be because of public policy differences. In Australia, for example, there is a monopoly on cell broadband and the cost of the internet rises according to use. So it is a disincentive for people using the internet because of its high cost. That is the reason why technologies involving a lot of broadband are not on the radar in Australia. Let’s take another example. Cloud computing has been big all over the world for the past few years. Again, Australia is a good example. They are very concerned

because the big cloud providers are in Asia, Hong Kong, Japan, Europe or North America, but not in Australia. Which means that data and private information resides in another country. The concern there is over which laws apply. For organisations worried about privacy, is privacy going to be governed by Australian laws or US laws? This is very scary stuff to Australians. To address this issue, in Australia – and in India, companies are building their own clouds.

people to collaborate is gaining popularity worldwide. Gesture-based computing is a related concept. Keyboards and monitors are going away. The next generation will interact with computers in just the way we are interacting right now – with gestures. Just put an iPad in the hands of your two- or three-year old and see how powerful a tool it is. They won’t need any instructions. It would be a natural way of interacting with the device.

What are the important emerging technologies, particularly for India? Everyone in the world is mobile. That’s on top of the list. What surprises me is that it hasn’t become huge in education already. It should have happened a year ago. But application of mobile technology in education will take off sooner in India than the rest of the world. Next comes content. It is shared and doesn’t need to be written in 17,000 different ways in all the places over the world. But the challenge is to get good content. In India, there are 22 local languages. So it will take some time to do open content here. But certainly, cloud computing and its way of allowing

What do you plan to do on your trip to India? I am trying to meet educational leaders in India and understand the challenges and the tremendous thinking that is going on regarding education here. In the longer term, we hope to bring the Horizon research processes from other parts of the globe, and do an Indian version of them. It would be of interest to the entire world because people are watching India. The challenges of education that are solved here will also be simultaneously solved worldwide — and this is what will bring me back. Subscribe to the daily electronic newsletter from EDU at http://edu-leaders.com/ content/newsletters May 2011  EDUTECH

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BY PHOTOS.COM

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Science & Engineering

ACADEMICS

Joy

Rekindling the of

Engineering

Dr Swami Manohar and Dr V. Vinay are entrepreneurs with an engineering mission. Feeling stifled as professors of computer science at IISc they felt the urge to move out and reinvent themselves as tech entrepreneurs

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BY KAVITHA SRINIVASA

ow many engineering students have spent time building models out of Lego blocks? Or even wondered how the electronic circuitry in a mobile phone works? Often these activities are brushed aside as mundane, just because most students place such a high value on scoring marks, they seem to miss the joy of engineering. To an extent, the mind-set or the system could be responsible for this. Whatever the case may be, an effort is being made to put things in a new perspective. Dr Swami Manohar and Dr V. Vinay, two Bangalore-based entrepreneurs, have stepped in with a unique strategy for engineering students and professionals to take a fresh look at their profession. And last year their thought process resulted in a start-up appropriately titled as Jed-i (an acronym for Joy of Engineering, Design and Innovation)

THE JEDI MASTERS PROGRAMME: Jed-i, an acronym for Joy of Engineering, Design and Innovation FORMS: Jed-i Project Challenge — an exhibition of students’ creative skills offering prizes including cash Jed-i Apprentice Programme — Students made to think independently and creatively. Jed-i Weekend Programme — For engineers and professionals based on user experience design

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ACADEMICS

Science & Engineering

Swami and Vinay, former professors of computer science at the Indian Institute of Science, felt the need for Jed-i. “We found that every batch has 5% enthusiastic students, while the remaining complete their engineering degree only to get a job. In general, the quality of engineering students has been declining over the last 15 years across institutions in India. Students have lost interest in their project work and complete it only for the sake of it,” said Swami. This is because campus recruitments happen before the project work commences. And with a job in hand, a project often seems passé for students.

That’s when the duo hit upon the idea of creating a corporate-sponsored platform for students to showcase their talent, spirit of team work and leadership qualities through innovative projects. The concept morphed into Jed-i Project Challenge, where students were invited to exhibit their creative skills. The challenge was announced in February. Since then, about 500 colleges across India have been approached, of which 150 have confirmed participation. This challenge is being conducted in partnership with the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. The professors managed to rope other partners into this

“Pigeonholing will not work in the long run” Dr Swami Manohar, Co-founder and MD of LimberLink Technologies, the company behind Jed-i Project Challenge

How has your entrepreneurial stint helped in launching Jed-i? This is a continuation of the journey. Starting something new and trying to make it a reality is part of all start-ups. The earlier experience helps overall.

What is the greatest challenge? The challenge is to get a large number of students to realise that pursuit of excellence in engineering will make job search redundant.

Why does the IT sector fail to value core engineering skills? This is because IT services companies perform work that is specified in detail by someone else. And they hire students from all branches, which means they do not need core engineering skills.

What makes Jed-i unique? The Jed-i programme’s objective is to create engineering excellence among the students. If they are top-notch engineers, finding a job is not an issue.

How can engineering projects become an enjoyable activity? Why do people climb mountains? To others, these activities may appear to be boring and difficult. Jed-i takes an integrated approach. Knowledge about the foundation is required to take things to the next generation. Unfortunately students tend to have a pigeonhole approach, which do not work in the long run.

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project that include IEEE Signal Processing Society, and IEEE Consumer Electronics Society, Bangalore; National I n s t i t u t e o f Ad v a n c e d S t u d i e s , Bangalore; Karnataka State Council for Science and Technology, Bangalore; and International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad. “About 60 college teams will be selected to participate in the Challenge and the overall best project will receive a cash prize of 150,000, besides visibility for industry sponsors,” said Vinay. As an incentive, there will be a first prize for each of the three divisions with  75,000 each. Each division will have a runner-up who bags 40,000 and a special mention category where the winner will be awarded  20,000. The top 20 in each division will receive a Jed-i certificate. The College of the top team will receive the Jed-i Project Challenge trophy. While students from all branches of engineering can participate in the Challenge, the entries will be evaluated under Computing, Electrical, and Mechanical categories. Bangalore will play host to the final event and awards ceremony on 10th of June. With the challenge yet to unfold, the entrepreneurs have tried to spur interest through the Jed-i Apprentice Programme for college students. And what does it do? It helps students think outside the box. The Apprentice Programme rolled out last year with Bangalore’s PESIT. According to Dr K.N. Balasubramanya Murthy, Principal and Director, PESIT the system lacked complete academic freedom as everything was based on the written answers in the examination. “The training programme is structured around the basics of engineering. It emphasised maths as the key for all creative designs and innovations,” he added. For this reason he felt that the training should to be started one level lower than the one that was conducted last year to enable more students to grasp the technique. It is also intended to increase the student enrolment for the programme from 22 of last year to 40 this year. “The approach to the training programme appealed to us. A student is made to think differently, independently and creatively,” said Mur-


Science & Engineering

thy. Manisha Sinha, a student of PES Institute of Technology (PESIT) shared her experience and said that the programme opened her eyes to the true potential of computer science. This year the Apprentice Programme will be offered in two modes. The first variant will be conducted in association with the college, each module spread over a semester. The second version comprises the programme in general venues with selected students from many colleges. Swami and Vinay have created a dual format to encourage the student fraternity. The programme is structured to enable youngsters to design, build, fix, modify and extend their creative skills by using tools. It is an unconventional approach as aspirants are encouraged to ask questions and seek answers through the workshop. The attempt is to increase engineering skills in colleges in the Indian context, as studies indicate that there is a shortage of such skills, though engineering education has grown over the last 10 years. Aspiring Minds in its employability study of technical graduates, states that that employability with regard to IT product companies is as low as 4.22% (among computer- and electronics-related branches), whereas employability with regard to IT services companies is 17.8%. To be at the forefront of innovation and achieve higher growth, it is necessary that higher-order work like product development and research grows in India. It is this observation that led to the Jed-i Weekend Programme for engineers and professionals based on User Experience Design. The Weekend Programme initiated last year provides a vocabulary and a systematic framework for product managers, lead programmers and decisionmakers to discuss design. The two-day course will cover design principles, evaluation methods and information visualization, among other things. “The industry faced a shortage of product managers and decision makers whose knowledge of user experience design issues is restricted to selecting font and colour,” Dr Swami and Dr Vinay added. Companies like Cognizant, Tally and Sasken came forward and nominated

ACADEMICS

Snapshots: Dr Swami Manohar and Dr V. Vinay • India’s first academics turned entrepreneurs • Recipients of the first Dewang Mehta Award for innovation in IT • Founders of PicoPeta Simputers, Strand LifeSciences, and most recently, LimberLink Technologies • They conduct short and long term workshops igniting interest in engineering among youngsters and professionals • They use methodology of active learning, without pressures of grading and certification, to enable participants to discover the joy of engineering

senior engineers to attend the programme, many of whom cherished the experience. “While our training programmes do a great job with their focus on engineering and behavioural skills, this particular programme offered an interesting mix of the two to help the participants experience the ‘joy’ of engineering. It has an interesting range of highly stimulating engineering and problem-solving challenges,” explained S t a n I y e r, D i r e c t o r P r o j e c t s , Cognizant. The company sponsored its engineers to participate in the Jed-i Weekend Programme. It requires a certain degree of sensitivity and the right vision to charter a course which tries to make engineering projects a fun-filled interdisciplinary activity. And the participants of Jed-i We e k e n d P r o g r a m m e e c h o t h e sentiment. “The Jed-i programme mainly had a self-development agenda and the company wanted to create an environment where employees pursue their own interests, in addition to working on projects that are aligned to its interests. There was a need for such a programme since it helps the employee develop his/her own skills,” highlighted  Pavan Katkar, senior software engineer, Philips Electronics. Whether the programme is for senior engineers or students, the underlying principle of Jed-i is to showcase engineering skills. For instance, those who are not into computer science can focus on their core engineering skills, espe-

cially because industries like manufacturing, infrastructure and automobile have several opportunities to offer fresh candidates. As Dr Swami pointed out, the country produces around 1 million engineering graduates annually. No doubt the cream of engineering students get absorbed into top IT firms, but the remaining don’t have the skill sets to even secure a job in a BPO. An initiative of this kind helps even the run-of-the-mill engineers to scale up and raise the bar for themselves. With the right attitude and aptitude, the next generation of engineers will be paid more than the run-of-the mill IT engineers. The founders of Jed-i they feel that new skill sets will be required which are completely different from those that were required for the Indian IT services industry. Besides fine-tuning the skill sets, there would also be many Indian businesses, especially the New Age entrepreneurial ventures, where Gen-Y could re-write the rules and set a new standard. The new breed of engineers would rule the roost as the corporate boardrooms of firms that specialise in a l t e r n a t e e n e r g y, g r e e n e n e r g y, infrastructure, power and pollution will beckon them. So the time has come when engineering students and professionals can look forward to exciting days ahead. Subscribe to the daily electronic newsletter from EDU at http://edu-leaders.com/content/newsletters May 2011  EDUTECH

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Small Wonders for

Smart

Schools Imagine the power of a computer, the security of electronic data, and the freedom to carry that data in your pocket — that’s smart card for your institutions BY TUSHAR KANWAR

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Smart Cards

BY ANOOP PC

acking memory and processing capabilities into a convenient form, opens up a plethora of possibilities for smart card applications. As Professor Rajat Moona, Poonam and Prabhu Goel Chair Professor at IIT Kanpur, reveals, “Smart cards run the attendance management system at IIT Kanpur. Postgraduate students and staff are required to mark their attendance once a day using smart card, which contains the personal details of the card-holder and the authentic fingerprint minutiae. Software in kiosks compares fingerprints taken from the person with the data stored on the smart card, and marks the attendance. Also, in the labs, smart cards can provide access control based on dynamically changing policy considerations with very small administrative overheads.” Taking the form of an e-wallet, smart cards in IIT Kanpur can be charged to any value and used for various purposes, from dispensing beverages from vending machines to paying for club memberships providing access to swimming pools. All such transactions and services on the campus are being tracked through smart cards with access and usage controlled via it. IIT Kanpur isn’t alone in adopting the smart way. But it serves to highlight some of the key advantages these diminutive cards bring to the table. Administrative efficiency and convenience top the list of benefits institutions see in implementing smart cards on the campus — students, faculty and staff with smart card ID system need to carry only a single piece of identification for all official campus interactions, including attendance, library management, payments and access control. The contactless variety of smart card, as you will see, needs to be taken out and handled significantly less often than traditional ID cards, and therefore, is less likely to be lost or stolen than the latter. Unlike older forms of electronic identification, which relied heavily on central databases to access personal information, smart cards physically store all relevant information about their users and are thus faster to operate and safer, as there is no central repository of personal information that can be potentially compromised.

Smart Card Technologies Explained As decision makers looking to make a more empowered choice about the right smart card system for your institution, it is critical for you to understand the various types of smart card technologies at play and available with vendors today. Broadly speaking,

TECHNOLOGY

CARD CONNECT CONTACT: Much like the smart card that one would associate with certain secure debit cards and vehicle registration, contact cards have a gold chip embedded in them, which is typically 1square centimeter — The chip features contact pads, which provide electrical connectivity when inserted into a reader, and require direct physical connection with the reader’s contact points to transmit data

smart cards are categorised into the following main categories based on its mechanism for access: contact, contactless, hybrid and combi smart cards. Contact Cards: Much like the smart card you would associate with certain secure debit cards and vehicle registration, this type of smart card has a gold chip embedded in the card, typically 1 square centimeter area. The chip features contact pads, which provide electrical connectivity when inserted into a reader, and require direct physical connection with the reader’s contact points to transmit data. This type does not contain battery; instead the card reader supplies power. Contact card is the most commonly used variety on campuses today. May 2011  EDUTECH

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TECHNOLOGY

Smart Cards

Contactless Cards: As their name suggests, contactless cards prevent the frequent wear and tear a contact-based card has to undergo, by doing away with the need for physical insertion of the card into a card reader. Instead, it can work several centimeters away from the reading device. The card communicates with and is powered by the reader through RF induction technology, and thus this card type requires only proximity to an antenna to communicate. Unlike their contact-based brethren, contactless cards do not contain an internal power source, and instead use an inductor to capture some of the RF signal, rectify it, and use it to power the card’s electronics. Proximity Cards: A variation on contactless cards, proximity cards are readonly cards and the information on these cards cannot be manipulated, and are thus limited to applications of access control, identification and security. Hybrid Cards: Institutions looking for an easy migration path, future proofing or to just serve dual functions can look at hybrid cards, which have both a contact and a contactless interface. Herein, the contact interface is used by the microprocessor chip module and the contactless interface is used by the memory chip module, but there is no physical connection between the two chips and therefore no shared memory is available. Combi Cards: Combi cards build upon the basic concept of hybrid cards in that they allow both the contact and contactless interfaces to share data via a microprocessor or a logic module. By far the most expensive to implement and maintain, combi-cards are also slower than regular contactless cards. In addition, based on the applications and capabilities envisaged, smart cards can be classified into memory type or microprocessor type. Memory cards simply store data, much like a small portable storage device with some level of optional security. Typical scenarios for use include storage of information, access control, or a value that can be “spent”, like cash. An important consideration is that memory cards are considerably less expensive than a microprocessor card, which is much like a miniature computer, replete with input/ output port, operating system with proto-

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Contact Cards are Cost-Effective In conversation with Professor Rajat Moona, Poonam and Prabhu Goel Chair Professor and Co-ordinator, Prabhu Goel Research Centre for Computer and Internet Security, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT Kanpur

Please share some details of the smart card implementation at IIT Kanpur? At IIT we collaborated with the NIC to develop the complete standards for the SCOSTA operating system for smart cards, and used this solution for our own smart cards based ID solution. We opted for the contact-based smart cards mainly due to the cost reasons. In 2005, when the system was implemented, the cost differential between contact and contact-less cards was very high. We used processorbased SCOSTA-CL compliant cards which cost us 50 per card, and today contact-less version of the cards are about three times as expensive. While contact-less cards have a longer life, but with the student population being dynamic in nature, a life span of four to five years is sufficient, and the contact cards provide that.

What is the scale and budget of the smart cards implementation at IIT Kanpur? At IIT Kanpur, we provide cards to each individual including students, staff (permanent or temporary) and faculty members, and we use about 2500 cards each year and keep an inventory of about 4 years for each cycle of supplies. Typically, the cost of the card and printing comes to about 75 per person, and the total cost of the system which required the development of software, etc., was approximately 20 lakh, which included the supplies for the first three years of implementation.

Any reasons why you did not opt for a vendor solution? Vendor solutions do not provide openness in implementation, and for security, the details of information on the cards are kept hidden from users. For IIT Kanpur, a proprietary solution was not acceptable since requirements keep changing due to the dynamic nature of the institute. Such changes would mean contacting the same vendor repeatedly or abandoning the project in total. Besides the lockin aspects, vendors would typically take about one week to prepare the cards due to logistical reasons, whereas today we can issue an ID card during the orientation programme itself in about 1.5 minutes!

cols for access, and storage with built-in security features. Microprocessor cards don’t just store information; they also add, delete and manipulate it. Smart Cards aren’t new to the education sector, but are rapidly gaining acceptance as can be evinced by the number of

ongoing projects. To put the components and applications in perspective, we spoke to a number of leading institutions and implementers about the smart card system adopted by them. Somaiya Group of Institutes (Mumbai): The group was looking at smart


Smart Cards

cards to manage their student ID, attendance, access control, library and security vigilance purposes when they approached Ashim A. Patil, MD and CEO, Infotek Software & Systems. According to Patil, this project, under deployment, aims to provide 25,000 students with contactless RFID secure identity cards. What’s unique about this project is that professors will use Nokia NFC (near field communication) enabled mobile phones to identify the students in the classroom for real-time attendance reporting. Per student spend on this project is in the ballpark of 200 to 250. International Institute of Information Technology, Pune: Campus wide contactless card implementation by Infotek covering student and staff ID, pedestrian and vehicle access control, cashless transactions in cafeteria, and library book issue and return. Another implementation at Lovely Professional Institute (Punjab) included anti-theft management for library books. Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode: Implementation of SmartCard based Access Control System and the Smart-Gate based E-Security System, both for library management applications. The University Grants Commission (UGC): The UGC was in the process of issuing multipurpose smart cards to more than one crore students to not only monitor student performance, but also increase the students mobility between universities. With smart cards, students would not need to produce their mark sheets or certificates to join courses in other universities as the information will be contained in the smart cards itself.

How to Go about it As with any turnkey technology implementation, a clear understanding and analysis of the needs is criticial before even the first tender is invited. Purvesh Gada, an electronic security consultant for Mahindra SSG, explains the need for this analysis: “Institutes have to examine whether they need high degree of customisation and in te gra tio n w ith t hei r exi sti ng electronic security measures and

databases, also whether multi-facility integration is desirable or not.” Smart cards can do much more than just secure your campus though, they can be used for multiple applications such as library management and e-cash facilities, and a clear vision of the coverage is critical to begin with, as is involving everyone, from the security and facility managers to bookstore and cafeteria staff. The more uses for the card, the more departments that need to be involved, and the more complex the implementation process. Most vendors welcome the opportunity to provide input at an early stage though, so involving them at the ideation phase is also recommended. In our conversations

Get Smart the Right Way

S

mart cards can do much more than just secure a campus. They can be used for multiple applications — library management and e-cash facilities. A clear vision of the coverage is critical to begin with, as is involving everyone, from the security and facility managers to bookstore and cafeteria staff. The more uses for the card, the more departments that need to be involved, and the more complex the implementation becomes. Vendors welcome the opportunity to provide input at an early stage though, so involving them at the ideation phase is also recommended. In our conversations with institutes and experts, a number of vendors were highly recommended, such as Bartronics, Infotek, HID, Gemplus, Giesecke & Devrient.

TECHNOLOGY

with institutes and experts, a number of vendors were highly recommended, such as Bartronics, Infotek, HID, Gemplus, Giesecke & Devrient. Current trends reflect the increasing use of contactless cards, according to Ashim and Purvesh, with only very few institutes implementing very high-end smart cards with encryption mechanisms (like iClass) due to the high implementation and maintenance costs. Educational institutes should independently evaluate the vendor portfolio considering the vendors’ previous references in the education sector. Apart from the considerations of the smart card itself, a number of back-end services need to be considered — where to put the card readers and the kind of software to use and whether machines and vendors can scale upto a smart card system.

Disadvantages Smart cards may be the way forward to secure manage campuses of the future, but as with any new technology, they do not come without their failings. As Professor Moona states, administrative inertia often came in the way of the implementation and institutes should consider several rounds of discussions for understanding the requirements of the users and then presenting a solution that would satisfy all. Naysayers also question large government investments in smart cards, for example at NDMC schools and Bangalore University, when basic infrastructure facilities are lacking. Smart cards are still susceptible to physical damage, including from heat or exposure to strong UV rays. As secure as these cards are, security breaches are an occasional but very real threat. Attacks on smart cards have involved physical removal of memory processors, which are then reverse-engineered to break the security. However, continuing advances in smart card technology are making newer cards less vulnerable to such attacks. Subscribe to the daily electronic newsletter from EDU at http://edu-leaders.com/content/newsletters May 2011  EDUTECH

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CAMPUS

Xxxry Name

Planning A Cool Campus? Get Power Smart With Energy Saving Best Practices With an ever-increasing demand for power-consuming equipment like air-conditioners and computers, higher education institutes are constantly seeking ways to optimise energy use BY PADMAJA SHASTRI

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Optimising Power

he Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Lucknow has nominated ‘energy ambassadors’ from among users to keep a vigil on the wastage of electricity on its campus. These ambassadors make sure they switch off electrical devices when they’re not needed and also educate power-users to turn off lights, computer monitors and energy consuming devices when not in use. “We are spread over an area of 200 acres, so the demand for power is very heavy. Hence, the need to be as energy efficient as possible,” says Dr Devi Singh, Director, IIM Lucknow.

Increasing Awareness

Institutions are realising that building awareness among users about the need to conserve energy is half the battle won. What better way to do that than recruit people from among the users themselves? VIT University, Vellore, has a students and faculty-run energy environment club which periodically puts up exhibitions of energy-saving devices such as compact fluorescent light-bulbs (CFLs) and celebrates events like Earth Hour. The club also organises lectures, discussions, workshops, paper presentations and poster competitions on energy conservation. On similar lines, the International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad, has a taskforce to help curtail wastage of electricity, while Symbiosis Institute of International Business has Kshitij, a team that finds ways to reduce electricity use. In the case of Pune-based International InstiUSERS’ CLUB: HEIs have enlisted stutute of Information Technology (I 2IT), dents and faculty as torchbearers of there is an informal coalition of staff and power conservation students to spread the message. “We consider this channel of communication to be TECH TO AID: HEIs have installed smart more porous and better understood and it power saver systems to regulate and leads to more effective implementation,” prioritise power supply says Aruna Katara, President and Dean – Administration of I2IT. LESS IS MORE: Energy saving search To drive home the message, HEIs like engines, common space usage, incentivVIT have taken to placing billboards in isation of staff, upgradation & replaceclassrooms and corridors with slogans ment of old systems are some other such as “let us make India power-full” to power saver measures being adopted

POWER POINT

CAMPUS

motivate students and staff to save energy. The university has also placed boards next to elevators asking people to use stairs. Some campuses, like IIM Lucknow and I2IT, also send request emails to sensitise users to the need to conserve power, while Manipal University (MU) gives students projects related to conservation and waste management to raise awareness. Amity says that promoting simple messages like “switch off fans and lights when not in use” has brought a 30-35% reduction in consumption.

Smart Power While HEIs can’t do away with powerguzzling devices, they are looking at ways to get the most out of the least amount of electricity. College of Engineering Pune (COEP) has a smart grid, called a “SCADA system”, where a software programme controls and regulates the power supply. “When the grid power is limited, or during power cuts, it enables an in-house generator to supply power in the order of priority,” says Dr Anil Sahasrabudhe, Director of COEP. The college has prioritised its areas of operation. The data centre is top priority, followed by the library, classrooms, important offices, laboratories and workshops. It also uses a capacitor grid to increase the power factor, which helps to reduce its electricity bills by 10%. This happens because of a differential elecMay 2011  EDUTECH

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CAMPUS

Optimising Power

“Energy Efficiency is a Cost-cutting Measure” Aruna Katara, President and Dean – Administration of International Institute of Information Technology (I2IT), Pune, speaks to EDU about how the institute manages its energy requirements efficiently

How important is being energy efficient for your institute? Energy efficiency is one of our institute’s prime focuses. Tackling the energy crisis and energy-conservation is not only a moral imperative but also makes good commercial sense, because it is a cost-cutting measure. We strongly believe that “there is no business to be done on a dead planet” as rightly quoted.

How do you cut down on power use without affecting priority areas like teaching, research and student experience? We have adopted a number of measures to save energy: Lighting and Ventilation - We use natural light wherever possible, thus reducing the need for artificial lighting. We have placed lights in such a way that reduces the number needed to achieve satisfactory illumination. As a majority of us are right-handed, the positioning of lights is such that the light falling on any area of the workplace is from the left and forward of the person using that workspace. This ensures no shadows fall on the work area, giving optimal lighting and also avoids reflection off computer screens. The ceiling and wall-mounted fans are so placed as to cover the maximum area and provide comfort to all in the classroom or office. Optimising use of ACs - ACs are run at an optimal temperature and switched off promptly at the end of the working day. We fit them away from direct sunlight, saving 5% energy. Also, ACs of the right capacity are fitted. For that, the cubic content of the room and the number of heatemitting devices, inclusive of the number of people occupying the room, is taken into consideration. The capacity reached thus is reduced by 20% to arrive at our norms for air-conditioning, as we have noticed that at no period is a room or hall fully occupied. All the photocopiers, printers and monitors are switched off after office closing time and during lunch hour wherever possible and when not in use. Energy consumption is reduced by around 10% because AC units are regularly maintained. Creating Awareness - Every individual on campus is encouraged to contribute to energy conservation through a continuous hammering home of messages – displayed in classrooms and other common areas – to use electricity judiciously and switch off the lights and electrical appliances when not in use. Climbing the staircase, instead of using lifts, is promoted as a health measure. We also lead by example and send formal mailers to students and staff regarding long power cuts in rural areas. An informal coalition of students and staff spread the message further. Together, they have made fraternities use common areas to conserve power. Also, celebrations are held in open spaces during the day to save energy.

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EDUTECH  May 2011

tricity tariff – the lower the power factor, the higher the per-unit rate. Many campuses have adopted automatic infrastructure, wherein equipment such as air-conditioners (ACs), lights and watersupply pumps are switched on and off at set times, or when not in use, something that is detected with motion sensors. For instance, VIT has external master switches in its new buildings to cut off power to classroom electrical devices, including ACs, during non-class hours, while IIM Lucknow is studying the use of presence, or “occupancy detector”, switches. All Symbiosis institutes use gravity, and not pumps, for water distribution which means zero electricity use.

Clever Equipment Virtualisation of servers, cloud computing, shutting off computers when inactive and using energy-saving search engine, Blackle, are among the initiatives HEIs are adopting to reduce the power used in computing. Amity is replacing its desktops with N-Computing terminals, which are expected to bring a massive 75% fall in energy consumption. Using common areas like libraries, mess and classrooms has also brought in substantial savings in power for many institutions, including COEP and I2IT. “We have a policy to shut off hostel lights when students are in the academic wing,” says Nilima Ghuge, incharge of projects, Symbiosis. At VIT, too, except at essential areas such as staircases and junction points, all corridor lights are switched off by 10pm, while Amity operates its lifts only in the mornings and evenings during holidays. Incentives, too, appear to be working wonders in cutting wastage of power. “At KIIT, each peon has the task of switching off unnecessary lights, and we give them a small cash incentive if they follow that,” says Dr Ashok Kolaskar, Vice Chancellor, KIIT. “This has brought down our electricity bills by 20%,” he informs. To keep electrical equipment losses to a minimum, IIM Lucknow installs good earthing systems, uses high-quality electrical cables and wires, changes wirings when due and even addresses circuit-loading. IIM Lucknow religiously services elec-


Optimising Power

trical motors and pumps to reduce additional power consumption due to ageing, friction, heating and soforth. It has discarded older pumps and motors to avoid wastage and chosen replacements which have good Bureau of Energy Efficiency star ratings. Meanwhile, MU also purchases energy-efficient equipment with the highest star rating available. Symbiosis is planning to buy new electrical equipment like transformers with three to five-star ratings. The idea is to achieve energy savings in the medium to long term.

Enhancing Efficiency “MU is conscious of the fact that air-conditioning accounts for almost 60% of the electricity consumed on campus,” says Dr H.S. Ballal, Pro Chancellor of Manipal University. “However, with temperatures ranging from 28-35 degrees makes it more of a need than a luxury. So we saw enormous potential for improvement in the area of air-conditioning.” The energy-smart solution? The university replaced its old AC units with power-efficient water-cooled screw chillers, upgraded cooling towers, installed unitary AC controls and implemented a building automation system with sensors installed in the entire building for more efficient cooling. It has also centralised temperature controls and installed automatic on-off switches based on occupancy and on a fixed schedule. Air handling units (AHUs), chillers and cooling towers are automatically switched off at night. On top of all this, MU has demandbased ventilation using CO2 sensors, staggered time-delay, remote locationmonitoring, duty-sharing by twin AHUs – which save power. “After upgrading our AC system, we found that one building

“During power cuts, our SCADA enables an in-house generator supply power in order of priority” — Anil Sahasrabudhe, Director, COEP

showed a 33.5% reduction in power-consumption,” says Dr Ballal. Similarly, IIM Lucknow is replacing old machines with new variable refrigerant volume-based AC systems, for an optimum-use solution. In the case of lighting, too, institutions have replaced conventional tungsten bulbs with CFLs and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). And, while MU replaced conventional 40W tubelights with T5 tubelights of 22-28W or CFLs to save power, IIM Lucknow has replaced conventional tubelights with those that have higher lumens but lower consumption. At VIT and Symbiosis, LEDs are replacing mercury or sodium vapour street lamps for better energy efficiency. “LED lights consume only 30% of the power for the same light intensity,” says Sekar Viswanthan, Vice President, VIT. The university is also planning to put LED lights in the toilets, as those are kept

“Improvements in lighting, AC and water-pumping can cut energy costs by 30%” —Shishir Athale,

Director, Sudnya Industrial Services

CAMPUS

switched on nearly 12 hours a day, and to replace tubelights with LEDs. According to Viswanathan, one 48W LED light is able to replace two 150W mercury lights, while a 40W tubelight can be replaced with 8-12W LED lights. Also, VIT’s LED lamps are based completely on solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and don’t consume power from the grid. “Improvements in lighting, AC and water-pumping can cut energy costs by 30%,” says Shishir Athale, Director, Sudnya Industrial Services, an energy services company.

Alternate Sources Not only VIT, but a host of HEIs have taken to using solar energy for heating water and have thereby seen a 50% reduction in their electricity bills. Some, like IIM Lucknow, are also using solar power for cooking. VIT and KIIT are converting street lights to solar power. Those like COEP and I2IT are exploring other sources of energy like wind and biomass as well. In fact, VIT plans to install a 6MW wind power generator to meet its present power consumption of 1.8MW. The university has already installed a 90KW power plant using biomass gasification technology, which is supplying power to hostels. It also has a solar PV power plant of 10KW capacity which supplies the power required for one of its research centres and the street lights located near it.

Saving by Design Most HEIs are making maximum use of natural light and cross-ventilation in the design of their buildings, while minimising heat absorption, so that lights, fans and ACs have to be switched on as little as possible. The features being incorporated include open-to-sky courtyard, singly-loaded corridors, ventilated cavity walls, terrace gardens, water bodies like fountains and skylights in the basement. Whether it’s third-party certifications, energy audits or seeking expert guidance, HEIs are leaving no stone unturned to achieve the highest possible energy efficiency. Subscribe to the daily electronic newsletter from EDU at http://edu-leaders.com/content/newsletters May 2011  EDUTECH

41


DIALOGUE

V. Sivaramakrishnan

“Since education is one of my passions, I decided to combine it with technology”

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EDUTECH  May 2011


V. Sivaramakrishnan

DIALOGUE

The Future of

HIGHER EDUCATION V. Sivaramakrishnan, President of education services, Manipal Education, speaks about how technology can drive education with knowledge displacing physical capital as wealth BY ANIHA BRAR

FACT FILE

EDU TECH EVENT

ACADEMIC: MBA, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade , New Delhi AREA OF WORK: In his previous role as Vice President of the iWay cyber cafe business, Sivaramakhrisnan was instrumental in leading Sify’s transformation from internet browsing centres to becoming e-stores

EDU: When did you realise the potential of using technology? V. Sivaramakrishnan: I joined Sify Technologies in 2006, a move that opened my eyes to the power of the internet. Over the next couple of years, I learntabout the reach of the internet in terms of consumer access, the kind of information you could put out in terms of content, and how far free content could go. The two drivers that would draw youth to the internet were at two ends of the spectrum — entertainment and education. Sify made me realise the barriers, especially the question of affordability. However, that barrier has been cracked and better configurations than those being sold for 150,000 a few years ago are now available for 22,000. Parents, however, remain sceptical. They don’t know what good the internet can do, but they do know what harm it can do. I realised that content and education were the issues that would power the internet. Since education is one of my passions, I decided to combine it with technology.

Some initiatives from Manipal Education use technology very effectively. Could you take us through them? In India, 220 million children are enrolled in schools; and about 14 million of them go on to higher education. At the bottom of this pyramid are the dropouts, kids who have not fitted into the education system, who don’t believe formal education is their way forward. They drop out and are under-employed for example, a paper delivery boy doesn’t want to be a paper delivery boy, but needs the money. This is the pyramid that the Prime Minister has targeted, saying that by 2022 we should have a 500-million strong technically qualified workforce. Not formally educated, but a technically qualified and professionally certified workforce. We forayed into vocational education at the bottom end of the pyramid in a joint venture with City and Guilds, the world’s largest certification body. The body imparts training in technical courses like plumbing, carpentry, retail and hospitality, and the certification is valid across the world. May 2011  EDUTECH

43


DIALOGUE

V. Sivaramakrishnan

By the mid-2020s, the world will have a shortage of anywhere between 45 and 50 million skilled workers while India will have a surplus. Clearly, the Prime Minister wants India to become a supplier of manpower to the world. But, we cannot achieve that unless we train and certify workers. Indian companies have also woken up to the need for certification.

How does distance education help address the problem of learning in rural India? As you climb up the pyramid, there is a huge section of people who are economically, intellectually or geographically impaired. In the interiors of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and in the Northeast, physical infrastructure is lacking and economic challenges compel people to work. They need flexibilty, convenience and an enabler to help them move up in their careers. That is where distance education comes in. In India, unlike in the West, distance education is a poor cousin. But that perception is now changing. The predominant theory behind campus education is that it’s exclusive – say 50,000 applications for 2,000 seats. You are not including 2,000 people, you are excluding 48,000 people. Distance education is about inclusivity. Today, we have a gross enrolment ratio of 14%. The Centre, in the next five years, wants to take that figure to 30%. You can’t build physical infrastructure to cater to such numbers. We have prepared an industry-centric curriculum and impart training through a nation-wide network of vocational training centres. We aim to cover 50% of India’s districts in five years; with distance education, we are nearly there. Your curriculum is being executed across vast geographical distances. How do you ensure quality? We have three levels of certification for faculty. Audits are conducted at centres once every six months, and the reports are checked by the vice chancellor. Apart from audit teams, surprise squads are also sent for checks. Student feedback on study centres is also obtained online.

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We aim to cover 50% of India’s districts in five years; with distance education, we are nearly there

How are you using technology to provide quality education? We have developed Edu-next, a largescale learning management system based on the internet. This provides students with course material, learning tools and a self-assessment quiz. Every module ends with a link to case studies, a Power Point presentation that summarises the material, and a series of multiple-choice questions. The role of the faculty is to mentor. We have chats, blogs and Q&A sessions. Interestingly, not just the faculty is involved in this process. Students are now answering other students’ queries. Today, Manipal has 180,000 students in distance education programmes. It’s true that the highest number of students come from the top 22 towns, but that’s because of internet availability. In India, delivery always fails in the last mile. This use of technology resolves that problem. What about your corporate and continuing education programmes? We run a Master’s programme out of Manipal and Bengaluru. We are expand-

ing across India. The programme is targeted at engineers and, in the first year alone, we had 2,400 learners. Corporates are sponsoring the training for their employees. We also have India’s first corporate university model. The ICICI Manipal Academy offers probationary bank officers a rigorous c o u r s e , a ft e r w h i c h t h e y g e t a postgraduate diploma in banking and are deputed to the ICICI Bank. We realised that they needed to continue to learn so we now offer them an extension of two years with an online MBA. This is a unique case of an academy and industry running on parallel lines, and it’s a great model.

Going ahead, what is your focus? Manipal Education aims to be the among the top three global education and services providers. We want to move into much broader learning and training solutions in a non-structured framework. Subscribe to the daily electronic newsletter from EDU at http://edu-leaders.com/ content/newsletters


advts.indd advts.indd advts.indd 54 54 54

12/22/2009 12/22/2009 12/22/2009 2:54:15 2:54:15 PM2:54:15 PM PM


EXPERTISE FUNDS

&

INFRASTRUCTURE

BY BHARAT PARMAR & ABHINAV I asktheexpert@edu-leaders.com

A B C of Endowment

I

f you were to count the higher education institutes in India, you would find that there are about 20,000 universities, colleges and independent institutes. More than a million Indian students study in these, but the quality of education, infrastructure and other facilities in most, is far from the best. Some of these institutes have a good reputation, but many are yet to get to international standards. The main reason behind this is that high quality education comes with a high price tag. In India, while government institutions are supported by funds from central and state governments and, to a lesser extent, by student fees, private institutions are run through tutorial fees. With the demand for education increasing, the government will end up with a limited ability to support any more institutes. Most private institutes get their funds from charging a high fee from students and leave to them the job of branding the university. For the near future, it seems as if good education will come at a high cost, either to the student community or to the government. To increase the institutes in India that are at par with international ones, each institute needs to be built around a continuous and steady source of income which accounts for its existing operational costs and allows for a future that includes world-class infrastructure and faculty. Renowned institutes like Harvard University, Yale University, Cambridge University, Oxford University and many others have been able to accomplish this through endowments.

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EDUTECH  May 2011

Bharat Parmar (above) is a founding partner at Eduvisors, a leading research and consulting firm focused on the education sector. Eduvisors advises clients in implementing varsity projects and assists foreign universities and education businesses enter India. Abhinav I is a part of Eduvisors

What is an Endowment? An endowment is a pooled fund of money (or gifted property), the principal of which is typically held in perpetuity and invested. A part of the returns is used by the institute to fulfil objectives and the remaining is flowed back into the principal to ensure market growth. Colleges use a part of this to fulfill their needs, while the rest is added to the principal amount to ensure market growth. An endowment allows for both immediate funding, and long-term financial security. Usually, an endowment fund is a collection of various individual funds. The purpose of each individual fund is decided by the donor. Donations are generally made by the alumnus of the institute or their associates, either as an act of gratitude for their education at the institute or to honour an


Bharat Parmar & Abhinav I

individual’s contributions. In some cases, they are made just as a means of giving back to society.

How Endowment Funds Help Financial stability: Endowment funds are perpetual. A major chunk of the donation is used for private, domestic and foreign investment, emerging markets, and absolute return assets, and the returns are used to maintain operational costs. The fund ensures availability of funds, not just for a limited time period but also for the future. Use of risk capital: With a continuous inflow of finances, institutes can plan the future growth of the institute. They can fund new programmes and start new initiatives, which otherwise generally are shelved from a lack of funds or because of the high risk factor associated with any initiative. Permanence and longevity: Successful endowments by institutes have proved lucrative for generations of students. Decreased financial burden on students: With funds flowing in from endowments, institutes can afford to reduce the tuition fee to a considerable extent.

Types of Endowment Funds Individual funds typically belong to one of these categories: Term Endowment: The return on investment from this fund is used for a particular time (decided mutually between the donor and the institute) and for a specific purpose. The institute is free to use the principal on the expiry of the term. Quasi Endowment: The institute may take either the annual return or some portion of the principal for use from this endowment. Unrestricted Endowment: The donor gives the institute the freedom and flexibility to use the returns from this gift for any purpose. Restricted Endowment: This fund is ring-fenced for a particular purpose defined by the donor. Donor-Restricted Charitable Gifts: A gift that is received by an institution which is unrelated to its solicitation and is accompanied by a restriction as to purpose (or time).

Endowment Funds: Indian Scenario In India, the practice of raising private donations from corporations and individuals is not prevalent. While a majority of the premier institutes in India have progressed in this regard, student fees and government funds (for public colleges) are still the main sources of income. With educational costs increasing by 2-3% every

EXPERTISE

TABLE 1

The Fund Moguls In the US, non-taxable vehicles are expected to contribute to 53 universities, with a fund size of $1 billion and more. Endowment size of college funds (813 in all) put together will be around $312 billion. Top colleges such as Harvard have separate money management teams:

US Harvard

Fund Size (In billions of dollars)

Yale 16.3

25.7

Princeton 12.6

12.1 University of Texas

12.6 Stanford

Universities seeing an inflow of contributions from individuals, groups Ratan Tata

50

Harvard

Anand Mahindra

10

Harvard

Mukesh Ambani

Stanford

Narayan Murthi

Harvard

Nandan Nilekani

Yale

8 5.2

Donor Varsity

5

Amount (In millions of dollars)

The UK comes in at second place, still only a comparitively small percentage of what premier institutes in the US have. Endowment size of the top five UK universities is less than the fund size of Harvard alone:

Cambridge

UK

Edinburgh 2.5 1.63 Glasgow

6.24 2.08

Fund Size (In billions of dollars)

FUND FACTS Endowment funds ensure that students don’t bear the brunt of educational costs

4.8

Manchester

Oxford

year, institutes are realising that these costs should not be passed on to students. However, such initiatives are still in the early stage (except in a few cases), with a significant impact yet to be felt. A comparison with higher education institutes in the United States shows the distance that India May 2011  EDUTECH

47


Bharat Parmar & Abhinav I

has to cover. In the US, 53 universities have an endowment fund in excess of a billion dollars. The total endowment size of all college funds is $312 billion. The maturity of such initiatives is reflected in the fact that institutes like Harvard University and Stanford University have separate money management teams. These international institutions have also seen donations and contributions from Indian businessmen. For example, Ratan Tata has made a $50m contribution to Harvard University. Similarly, Anand Mahindra (Harvard University), Mukesh Ambani (Stanford University) and Narayana Murthi (Harvard University) have contributed $10m, $8m and $5.2m respectively. (Table 1: Endowment Funds of US and UK Universities)

Restricted Endowment

Scholarships Fellowships

TABLE 3

Two Tiered

Institution rd of Governo Boa rs

EDUTECH  May 2011

Single Tiered

or ect Dir

48

Governance Models

Associate Deans Chairperson Functional Heads

en S t Fu or a oa nd(Trust,Society ire rd( Alum te D ni, or Institu CEO

B

University or college endowment funds either have a single-tiered governance model, where the endow-

Deans

m ow End

Options for Governance Model

Programmes

Infrastructure

Absence of a Philanthropic Culture One of the main reasons for the dormancy of such initiatives in India is the absence of a philanthropic culture. Education has always been a social welfare activity, a monopoly of the state.Private participation in the education sector has begun only recently. Another major reason is the lack of government support. Indian businessmen and corporations often donate to foreign higher education institutes as no tax is levied on them. Also, the government imposes many restrictions on the management of these donations (Non-profit organisations cannot invest in private sector companies). Institutes have also not shown any pro-activeness in coming up with such initiatives where they look at alumni as a means of raising big enough resources. This is evident from the fact that many institutes are making efforts to establish a perpetual endowment. However, some of the elite Indian higher education institutions have understood the importance of an endowment fund. Institutes like IIM, Ahmedabad; XLRI, Jamshedpur; IIM, Kozhikode; Indian School of Business, Hyderabad; IITs at Madras and Kharagpur; College of Engineering, Pune, have either set up or are in the process of setting up an endowment fund. The activity, however, can be seen in a limited number of institutes. To match international quality standards, this culture needs to be percolated across the breadth of the higher education spectrum.

Research

Professorships Lectureships

TABLE 2

cto ec 2 r) 5 Co .)

EXPERTISE

Fund Raising Team Fund Investment Team

FUND FACTS IIM Ahmedabad and Kozhikode, XLRI Jamshedpur, ISB Hyderabad, IIT Madras are in the process of setting up an endowment fund

Accounting/ Admin Fund Disbursement Team

ment fund team acts independently with the top management of the institute, or a two-tiered format where the fund team activities are overseen by an investment committee, which is further governed by the statutes laid down by the Board of Governors of the institute. (Table 3: Governance models). Our understanding of the model, going by its use in some of the endowment funds in India, suggests that there is close involvement of alumni at the board level and at fund-raising level. Subscribe to the daily electronic newsletter from EDU at http://edu-leaders.com/content/newsletters


PROFILE

Rajeev Sangal

PROFILE

Pritam Singh

FACT FILE Professor Rajeev Sangal CURRENT ENGAGEMENT: Director, International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad

THINGS HE LIKES: BOOK: The Story of My Experiments with Truth, by MK Gandhi QUOTE: “My life is my message” FILM: Dharm (2007)

Learning From Life A mentor, philosopher and activist, the Director and VC of IIIT Hyderabad, talks of his first love — teaching BY SMITA POLITE & ROHINI BANERJEE

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EDUTECH  May 2011

T

he day before his entrance test at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur, Rajeev Sangal was still in two minds: “In those days, IITs were known, but not really well known,” says the Vice Chancellor and Director of the International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Hyderabad. “It just happened. I wanted to study physics and was looking for institutes where I could pursue the subject,” he explains his uninformed choice. Since then, the Sangals have had an “unbroken presence at IIT Kanpur.” How? Sangal enrolled at IIT Kanpur in 1970, finished his BTech and then left the country to pursue his PhD. Before IIT could miss him, younger brother Neeraj stepped in as a student to fill the gap. When he left, the youngest brother, Sandeep, joined IIT as a student. By the time Sandeep graduated, Rajeev returned to the campus as a teacher. And,

BY SUBHOJIT PAUL

AWARDS: Fellow, Indian National Academy of Engineers, October 2009 Sanskrit Mitra Puraskar, 2004 Computers and Linguistics, by Dravidian Linguistics Association, 1993 President, NLP Association, India, since 2002


Rajeev Sangal

when he quit to join IIIT, the youngest Sangal joined IIT Kanpur as a professor of materials science, a post he still holds.

Techie by Chance “Our parents were doctors, so I can’t define my affinity towards IITs and technology. However, I was always sure that I wanted to be in academics. After my PhD, I only wanted to head home and teach,” Sangal says. Sangal’s present role at IIIT Hyderabad was defined because he “happened to be on campus” when the institute began: “I was heading a research team working on computer and human languages for IIT Kanpur. Our R&D laboratory shifted to Hyderabad and was renamed the IIT Kanpur Centre at Hyderabad. Just as our research was coming to a close, IIIT was set up. Ajay Sahni and the then IT secretary in Andhra Pradesh approached me to flesh out an academic curriculum,” Sangal says. By April 1998, IIIT had begun as the first academic public-private partnership (PPP) in India, or “NPPP” project, where the “n” stands for not-for-profit. “Our money comes from companies and not students,” he explains. Sangal was initially offered the Satyam Chair, and Dr Narendra Ahuja of the electrical and computer engineering department at the Beckman Institute, was appointed director. When logistical problems forced Ahuja, who was based in the United States, to give up his post, Sangal stepped in full-time. The rest, as they say, is history.

Make a Robot with Us With Sangal being present since the inception of IIIT, everything at the institute — especially the curriculum — bears his stamp. “If a student approaches an institution and expresses his desire to build a robot, the usual reaction is: What do you know about robotics? Do you know how many courses it takes to get to that point of specialisation?” says Sangal. “Questions like these say only one thing: ‘Sorry, you can’t build your robot here.’ IIIT’s approach is different. We want to tell young people to come and build whatever machines they want

here. We start with a narrow, specialised approach – professional courses – and move to a broader base. Our ‘layered’ learning process is about practice, theory, and practice all over again. Skills come first and principles run parallel.” Debates over the practicality of admitting undergraduate students to research institutes may continue, but Sangal is clear about where he stands on this. “You need to have undergraduates for a thriving research environment. Research and teaching are parallel activities. When we designed IIIT courses we introduced BTech and BTech honours. Honours was for those who wished to

PROFILE

arranged marriage, but one of the first things that I remember telling my wife, Neesha, was to see the (Gandhi) film.” Education, he feels, is about self-actualisation. Referring to his wife, he explains, “Neesha had quite a journey. She was a physics student at IIT Roorkee when she realised it wasn’t her calling. She did her PhD in computer programming from Kanpur University and became an honorary programmer for IIIT Hyderabad. But a session with Professor Ganesh Bagaria of IIT Delhi changed her life. She began working with special children and is now deeply involved with Jeevan Vidya at IIIT Hyderabad.”

“Layered learning is about practice, theory, and practice. Skills come first, principles run in parallel” research extensively. Our emphasis was, and will be, on professional, viable knowledge with a base in research.”

Pragmatic Humanism Sangal, who believes that “pragmatism is useless unless supported by human values”, started compulsory Jeevan Vidya (human values) sessions at IIIT Hyderabad. Under this course, workshops that deal with Jeevan Vidya comprise sessions on violence, corruption, exploitation, domination, terrorism and war in society. The courses may be controversial but Sangal is a strong advocate of Jeevan Vidya lessons on campus. Fascinated by Lenin and Marx, Sangal doesn’t frown upon politics in an academic atmosphere. He admits to being deeply influenced by Mahatma Gandhi, recalling: “Mine was an

Educational Detours His daughters, too, took some educational detours. One is an architect who loved biology, but wanted to become an aeronautical engineer or an archaeologist and the other an ayurvedic doctor who, when young, swore she would never study medicine and got coached into medicine by her elder sister. Speaking about the basic problem besetting most campuses, Sangal says: “Our problem is that we hear what our children say, but we never listen. We must listen to our children and find out what they really want to do. If they want to build a robot, they should be allowed to do that.” Subscribe to the daily electronic newsletter from EDU at http://edu-leaders.com/ content/newsletters

May 2011  EDUTECH

51


THE GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE FROM

O F H I G H E R E D U C AT I O N

INSIDE 54 | Britain’s new student visa policy restricts work opportunities 55 | Yale and National University of Singapore Set Plans for New Liberal Arts College

British Council Meet Held in Hong Kong Hong Kong plans to invest $7 billion in education, making it the government’s single biggest spending priority BY AISHA LABI

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EDUTECH  May 2011

BY PHOTOS.COM

G

oing Global, the British Council’s annual highereducation conference, drew more than 1,000 participants to Hong Kong in the second last week of March. Delegates came from nearly 70 countries, with a concentration from Asia. They focused on such topics as efforts to establish regional education hubs, the impact of transnational education, the influence of international rankings, and enhancing the experience of international students. Taking place outside Britain for the first time and devoted to the theme World Education: the New Powerhouse?, the conference was held in a region and city where major changes are having a profound impact on higher education. Much of the discussion over the event’s two days, both in the content of the official programme but also in conversations among participants, highlighted the shift of the world’s economic and education axes toward Asia. The host city embodies many of the changes that are transforming the region. Hong Kong is in the midst of sweeping curriculum changes, in both its secondary and higher education systems, and in 2012 will make the transition from threeyear to four-year undergraduate degrees. Like many governments in the region, Hong Kong’s is investing heavily in education. Its chief executive, Sir Donald Tsang

Yam-Kuen, told participants at the conference’s opening session that in the coming year, education spending will total nearly $7 billion and represents his government’s “single biggest spending priority” accounting for nearly a quarter of its recurrent spending. The generous financing is helping to back the territory’s ambitions to become a regional education hub, along with Malaysia, Singapore, and other players in Asia.

Hubs and Branch Campuses Several of the conference sessions touched on the subject of education hubs, including one devoted to their development in the Middle East. Another session brought together educators


GLOBAL.CHRONICLE.COM the emergence of regional hubs in parts of from Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka to disthe world from which many mobile cuss their countries’ experience in working to s t u d e n t s o r i g i n a t e . Je e s u k K a n , transform their higher education systems into international co-ordinator in the office of regional hubs. Speakers from the Malaysia Uniinternational affairs at Kyung Hee versity of Technology told the audience that an University, South Korea, noted that “Asian model” for establishing hubs has emerged, Sign up for a free weekly students at his university were eager to in which countries are developing national capacelectronic newsletter from The experience American culture. But ity through investment in higher education to Chronicle of Higher Education at Chronicle.Com/Globalnewsletter increasingly, he said, those students were import educational “services” from countries with The Chronicle of Higher Education is deciding not to study in the United States, stronger, better-developed education systems, and a US-based company with a weekly where many felt that they were segregated in turn export those services to systems in the newspaper and a website updated from mainstream campus life along with region that are less developed. daily, at Global.Chronicle.com, that other international students and often Allan Goodman, president of the Institute of cover all aspects of university life. found American students standoffish and International Education, who led that session, With over 90 writers, editors, and correspondents stationed around difficult to get to know. Instead, they are emphasised that “none of the regional hubs is the globe, The Chronicle provides increasingly opting to study at institutions limited by a region.” Such hubs are often portals timely news and analysis of academelsewhere, often in Asia at campuses to other parts of the world, he said, and thinking ic ideas, developments and trends. affiliated with American universities, about regional hubs needs to be broadened to where the American students they focus on them as “transnational centres for encounter are much more open and international education.” Mark Disney, the internationally minded, he said. Malaysia-based chief operating officer of LCCI Asia, a company One of the conference’s liveliest sessions was devoted to the that offers training and courses in such topics as English and ever-controversial role of international rankings. John A. marketing, echoed that sentiment in another session, on the Spinks, senior adviser to the vice chancellor at the University of impact of transnational education. “The concept of what Hong Kong, who chaired the session, noted that his own insticonstitutes a ‘hub’ varies enormously,” he noted, as do the tution’s rise in the rankings has had a direct impact on the reasons why governments in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, enrolment of students from countries in the region, where such China and Vietnam are actively pursuing their establishment. tables are especially influential. As soon as his university Transnational education, often involving the establishment of attained the top spot in Asia, he said, “more of the top schools branch campuses by Western universities that are not among in India and Korea were interested in sending students to us.” their countries’ biggest-name institutions, has grown rapidly A growing number of higher-education conferences around since the 1980s in many parts of Asia, Disney said. the world are devoted to themes of globalisation, but much of Figures released by the British Council to coincide with the the discussion still revolves around such fundamentals as what conference highlighted the growth of transnational education: exactly the concept entails for institutions, students and staff They show that there are now more foreign students studying members. John Hudzik, vice president for global engagement for British degrees outside of Britain than within the country. at Michigan State University and the former president of Nafsa: The looming increase in tuition rates at universities in EngAssociation of International Educators, told participants that land could spur more British students, whose reluctance to student mobility and international education are not synonyms venture abroad was frequently invoked at the conference, to for internationalisation, though they are essential components take advantage of transnational opportunities in Asia. “For of what he termed “comprehensive internationalisation”. £9,000, you could go to Malaysia, live it up, and get a NottingHe defined that concept as “commitment and action to infuse ham degree,” Disney noted, referring to the maximum rate that international, global and comparative content and perspective universities in England will be allowed to charge beginning in throughout the teaching, research and service missions of high2012. Western students are actively courted by many of the er education.” Putting such a concept in place would require a transnational campuses, he said, because their presence helps “paradigm shift” for institutions, he said. to raise the profile of institutions and instill confidence locally. Some conference participants questioned whether Hudzik’s prescriptions amounted to a Rolls Royce formula for higher Other Notable Sessions education that was ill-fitted to the majority of the world’s sysThe failure of American, British and Australian students to tems. Hudzik defended his vision, saying that only by embracstudy abroad in large numbers was also discussed in a session ing ambitious goals for internationalisation and by placing such Turning the Tables on International-Student Mobility was led by goals at the core of their institutional missions could higherDaniel Stevens, a graduate from the University of Warwick education systems realise their full potential. who is now president of the student union there. Though the US still attracts more foreign students than any other country, it faces many challenges if it is to continue that dominance. Subscribe to a free weekly electronic newsletter from the Chronicle of Conference-goers explored some of those challenges, including Higher Education at http://chronicle.com/globalnewsletter May 2011  EDUTECH

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THE GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE

Britain’s New Student Visa Policy Restricts Work Opportunities Student union survey reveals that 70% of the 8,000 international students will choose not to study in Britain without post-study work option BY AISHA LABI

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BY PHOTOS.COM

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he British government provided details of long-anticipated changes in immigration policy that are expected to cut the number of foreign students in Britain by 25%. Universities had campaigned intensely against some of the restrictions the government was considering when it announced the coming policy shift last year, and they won concessions on some issues. In a written statement announcing the changes, the home secretary, Theresa May, said that “it has become very apparent that the old student-visa regime failed to control immigration and failed to protect legitimate students from poorquality colleges.” Critics of the existing system have said that it allows too many bogus institutions to operate. The new rules include a requirement that, from April 2012, “all institutions wanting to sponsor students will have to be classed as ‘highly trusted sponsors’” and receive accreditation. Under the new rules, students entering Britain to pursue degree-level courses will have to demonstrate a higher level of proficiency in English than is now the case. Immigration staff “will be able to refuse entry to students who cannot speak English without an interpreter and who there-

fore do not meet the required standards,” the Home Office’s announcement said. The new measures also restrict the ability of foreign students to bring family members into the country with them. Under the current rules, “all students on longer courses are able to bring dependents,” but the new rules will allow only graduate students enrolled at universities and government-sponsored students to bring in family members. The ability of foreign students to work

while in the country and after finishing their studies has been among the most contested areas of immigration policy, and the new measures will eliminate what is known as the “post-study work route,” which gives students two years to remain in Britain and seek jobs after their programmes end. Students at universities and public “further education” colleges will retain the right to work while pursuing their studies, but all other students will be prohibited from seeking


GLOBAL.CHRONICLE.COM employment. New restrictions will also be imposed on work placements for those taking courses outside of universities. Only graduates with an offer of a skilled job from a sponsoring employer will be allowed to remain in Britain to work once they have finished their studies. Finally, the overall time that can be spent on a student visa will be limited to five years for study toward a bachelor’s degree or beyond. There is now no limit for degree-seeking students. The three-year limit on students’ study in non-degree courses will be retained. In announcing the changes, May said that the government’s aim was “not to stop genuine students coming here — it is to eliminate abuse within the system”.

Mixed Response Universities UK, the vice chancellors’ representative organisation, which had lobbied against the most restrictive of the proposed measures, issued a written statement welcoming the changes the government had made since first announcing its proposed policy. The original proposal was even stricter on

cutting off graduates’ work opportunities in Britain. The ability of foreign students to work in the country after graduating “is critically important in attracting international students to the UK, and without this we would be at a severe competitive disadvantage in comparison with other countries such as Canada, the US, and Australia,” the statement said. The Russell Group, which represents Britain’s 20 leading, research-intensive universities, also said it was pleased that the government had eased some of the more restrictive measures on work. The revised proposals, it said in a statement, “try to ensure that our ability to attract the best students is not harmed while cracking down on any abuses of the immigration system.” However, it added that “much will depend” on how the proposals are carried out, and said it would be closely monitoring their effects on the group’s member universities. The National Union of Students said in its statement that “important concessions had been won but that the closure of the post-study work route would act as a huge disincentive to talented students

coming to the UK.” A recent survey by the student union, of 8,000 international students, found that nearly 70% of them would not choose to study in Britain without the post-study work option. The union’s president, Aaron Porter, said in the statement that the newly announced measures “do not make clear whether students already in the UK on the understanding that they have the option to work after graduation will still have that route open to them”. He asked the home secretary to confirm that those students would continue to be able to work. In its statement, the University and College Union said that the government “had ignored advice from the academic community” and that its plans “would damage the UK’s international reputation and harm the economy.” The union’s secretary general, Sally Hunt, said “the government’s plans risk sending out the message that the UK is closed for business.” Subscribe to a free weekly electronic newsletter from the Chronicle of Higher Education at http://chronicle.com/globalnewsletter

Yale-Singapore Join Hands to Launch College With the official go-ahead, the new college hopes to enrol 150 students by the 2013-14 academic year BY KARIN FISCHER

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ale University and National University of Singapore have made official their plans to jointly establish a liberal arts college in the city-state, one they would like to be a model for all of Asia. “We hope to create a really exciting model of liberal arts, one many Asian countries will find attractive because of its broader perspective on the complex problems of the world,” said Richard C. Levin, Yale’s president, in a recent interview. The two institutions had originally made public a possible partnership in September 2010, but said at the time they still had to hammer out several budgetary and legal issues.

With the official go-ahead announced, the new Yale-NUS College hopes to enrol its first students, about 150, in the 2013-14 academic year. It will be Singapore’s first liberal arts college and the first in Asia to adopt a residential college model, in which students study and live in an intimate setting. It will also be the first campus outside New Haven, Connecticut, that Yale has developed. The four-year undergraduate programme, which is eventually expected to have a student body of 1,000, will be an autonomous college of NUS, and students will receive degrees from the Singaporean institution. Singapore’s government will foot the bill for the new campus and will reimburse Yale for all costs incurred. May 2011  EDUTECH

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THE GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE That would be in keeping with Yale’s history as a leader in the development of American liberal arts education in the early 19th century, Levin added. This new breed of liberal education will marry Eastern and Western intellectual traditions and cultural perspectives. For example, Levin envisions a course comparing the works of Aristotle and Confucius, who lived less than two centuries apart. Returning to Yale’s roots as a liberal arts innovator was “irresistible”, Levin said, adding that Yale had passed on other offers of international partnerships. But now, as Levin noted, the real work begins. The two universities will start a joint presidential search and will appoint committees to hire an initial group of 30-35 faculty members. (When fully staffed, Yale-NUS will have 100 full-time faculty members.) Charles D. Bailyn, a professor of astronomy and physics at Yale who will serve as the new college’s inaugural dean of the faculty, said the search committees would begin their work this fall, with the goal of having the first group of professors hired in time for the 2012-13 academic year. Those initial hires will spend that year in New Haven, creating the new institution’s curriculum, picking up on preliminary work done by current Yale and NUS faculty members. They will also visit other colleges across the United States that are doing interesting pedagogical work in the National University of Singapore: Dose of liberal arts for varsity liberal arts, he said. Bailyn said he expected that the new faculty would be a mix of experienced professors and talented The two universities, however, will collaborate to recruit facrecent graduates, liberal arts veterans and Asian experts. “We’re ulty members and senior leadership and to craft a curriculum hiring a group of people, not a series of individuals,” he said. that emphasises critical thinking and cross-disciplinary studies. “There’s not a slot reserved for a 17th century China specialist.” Tan Chorh Chuan, the National University of Singapore’s The permanent teaching staff will be supplemented by president, said those skills would be necessary “core qualities visiting professors from Yale and elsewhere, Bailyn said. And for graduates to be effective”, especially in a small, multiculhe added that he was satisfied by assurances from the tural and globally connected country like Singapore. At least Singapore government and by testimonials from other half the students are expected to come from Singapore, with the American institutions with academic programmes there, that rest coming from elsewhere in Asia and around the world. the new college would have full academic freedom, though he In their belief in the power of a liberal-arts education, Tan conceded that not all of his Yale colleagues have been said, the two universities had a “convergence of vision”. convinced. The country, which restricts freedom of speech and of public demonstration, found a British author in Aristotle Meets Confucius contempt of court last fall for statements he made in a book Asian universities, by contrast, have traditionally stressed speabout the Singapore judiciary. cialised, career-focused training. But the idea of a liberal arts education, with an emphasis on critical inquiry, has begun to gain traction across the Asian continent, and Levin said he hoped the Subscribe to a free weekly electronic newsletter from the Chronicle of Yale-NUS collaboration could prove to be a model for the region. Higher Education at http://chronicle.com/globalnewsletter

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‘INSPIRING ACADEMICS’ draws on the experience and expertise of awardwinning teachers to illuminate exemplary teaching practices. It’s structured around five themes: inspiring learning, command of the field, assessment for independent learning, student development and scholarship. Mirroring the vast range of practices and characteristics that constitute quality teaching, 26 scholars from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the US reflect on personal and professional circumstances that make them successful in what they do. Through its autoethnographic approach, the book provides interesting personal explorations of the “hows and whys” of excellent teaching. Some of the noted contributors are: Gerlese Åkerlind, Donna Boyd, Ian Cameron, Jane Dahlstrom, Brian Detweiler-Bedell, Jerusha Detweiler-Bedell, Lisa Emerson, Sally Fincher, Rhona Free, Iain Hay, Mick Healey, Welby Ings, David Kahane, Sally Kift, Dennis Krebs and T.A. Loeffler.

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Across the world, universities are often resistant to change. Louis Menand suggests solutions

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Marx and Education

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tives on e-learning: its social implications, transformative effects and the social and technical interplays which support and direct e-learning. The book presents its perspectives by exploring the ways teaching and learning are changing. Author: Caroline Haythornthwaite, Richard Andrews Publisher: Sage Books Price: £29.99

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TIMEOUT

Is the Sony VPL EW130 Good Enough? Introducing the projector that suits the boardroom as much as the classroom

GADGETS AverLife HD Studio Media Player — Perfect Fusion THE AverLife HD Studio Media Player is a fusion of good performance and stylish looks. The device comes with great build quality, brushed metal finish, intuitive menu, LAN capabilities and a price that leaves smaller dent in the pocket. PRICE: 5,500

Jabra’s New Communication ‘Wave’ SONY HAS launched its latest 3LCD projector, called the Sony VPLEW130. The projector is an ideal choice for the education sector and business markets. Its 3LCD display provides WXGA resolution support of 1280x800 pixels. The device comes with one-watt mono speakers, built-in and offers 6,000 hours of lamp life. In standby mode, it consumes only one-watt of power. Its lens supports front, rear and ceiling projection, plus a 1.3:1 optical zoom. PRICE: Yet to be disclosed

Ideum’s Multitouch: The Truly Multipurpose Table IDEUM’S MULTITOUCH table, MT55 HD, is a good option for research labs, museums, tradeshows, schools and commerical venues. It runs on 64-bit Windows 7 Professional OS and is powered by an Intel Core i7 processor. The multiple touchpoints on its 55-inch LCD screen, supporting full 1080 HD resolution, enable users to interact synchronously while on other applications. PRICE: Yet to be disclosed

OWN two mobile phones? The Wave could then be a blessing for you. This device supports eight phones simultaneously. It is attractive and reduces noise while on the move. The device works best up to a distance of 6ft and offers a talk time of six hours. PRICE: 3,899

Samsung’s Google NexusS SAMSUNG’S Google NexusS comes with a 4-inch Super LCD screen, a 5 megapixel camera, Android 2.3 Gingerbread operating system and a special ‘contour’ design. Some of its expected applications will be augmented reality functions, personal identification and a mobile ‘electronic wallet’ payment system. PRICE: 30,400

May 2011  EDUTECH

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LEGACY “Instead of celebrating my birthday, it would be my proud privilege if September 5 is observed as teachers’ day”

Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

India’s Education Guru

W

hat makes a good teacher into a great one? Is it the will to accept that learning is a life-long process? Or complete devotion to the cause of education and to a certain subject? The man who became India’s first Vice President and the second President, was one of the most celebrated philosophers and teachers of his time. Aldous Huxley described Radhakrishnan as the “master of words and no words”. It seems ironical that this master’s introduction to philosophy was purely an accident. When his cousin decided to give away his books on philosophy, Radhakrishnan grabbed them. His dirt-poor family couldn’t afford books of any kind. His decision to pursue philosophy in college was driven by the fact that the philosophy textbooks came for free. However, the man was soon smitten. Radhakrishnan graduated with a Master’s degree in arts from Madras University to complete a thesis, The Ethics of the Vedanta and Its Metaphysical Presuppositions, a fitting reply to a charge that the Vedanta system had “no room for ethics”. He was then 20 years old. His guide, Professor A.G. Hogg said, “His thesis shows a remarkable understanding of the main aspects of philosophical problems... and more than the average mastery of good English.” It was this mastery over the Queen’s language that helped Radhakrishnan further. He believed that, if put in “proper philosophers’ jargon”, Asiatic tradition in philosophy, too, could be treated at par with western philosophical thoughts. In April 1909, his association with philosophy was cemented further, when he was appointed as the professor in the department of philosophy at Presidency College in Chennai. In 1939, he became the Vice Chancellor of the Banaras Hindu University, while the university was under pressure from Governor Maurice Hallet to turn the campus into a war hospital. Radhakrishnan rushed to Delhi and persuaded Viceroy Lord Linlithgow to halt the action. Though he won that battle, back home Governor Hallet suspended all financial support to the university. Radhakrishnan then did what was needed, he went on a “begging pilgrimage”. Education always came first and none realised that better than him. As a boy, Radhakrishnan’s economic reality was the greatest impediment to his education. One of several children, Radhakrishnan funded his education by winning scholarships. Post-independence, Radhakrishnan was asked to Chair the University Education Commission. His recommendations helped mould the Indian education system. Devoted to the cause of education, Radhakrishnan’s empathy for Indian students and teachers was exceptional. So theres little wonder, the nation celebrates the “best minds of the country” – its teachers — on Radhakrishnan’s birthday. It’s because he wished it so. Subscribe to a daily electronic newsletter from EDU at http://edu-leaders.com/content/newsletters

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(1888-1975) 1931-1936 Served as Vice-Chancellor of Andhra University 1931 Awarded Knighthood 1936 Invited to fill the Chair of Spalding Professor of Eastern Religions and Ethics at Oxford 1939 Appointed as the Vice Chancellor of Banaras Hindu University 1941 Accepted Sir Sayaji Rao Chair of Indian Culture and Civilisation in Banaras 1952 Became the first Vice President of the Republic of India 1954 Awarded the Bharat Ratna 1962 Became India’s second President 1963 Awarded the Order of Merit by the British government

TLC for Teachers  

Can educators be made more effective and efficient through teaching and learning centres?

TLC for Teachers  

Can educators be made more effective and efficient through teaching and learning centres?

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