India is evolving into a knowledge-based society and it is critical that we adapt ourselves to the evolving changes to respond to the competitive dynamics. The abilities of the people to create, apply, disseminate and secure knowledge more effectively will determine our competitive edge. This transition will require India to develop knowledge workers who are more flexible, analytical, adaptable and multi-skilled. India’s demographic dividend of a younger population compared to developed countries is as much an opportunity as it is a challenge. Unlike many other countries, where the young working age population is fast shrinking with higher dependency ratios, India has over 587 million people below the age of 25 years. According to Census figures, over 32% cent of the approximate 1.1 billion population is between the age group 0-14. This means that the number of people in India needing primary and secondary education alone exceeds the entire population of the USA; and these students will be seeking higher education in India over the next decade it illustrates the sheer size of the India Education Market. Experts are more bullish about the growth of the sector and estimates that private education sector itself would grow to US$ 70 billion by 2013 and US$ 115 billion by 2018 and they sees enrollments in K-12 growing to 351 million, requiring an additional 34 million seats by 2018. This equals US$ 80 billion at US$ 2400 a seat.
The Government has set a target of 21% Gross Enrolment Ratio GER) by the end of the Twelfth Plan (2017) for the higher education sector. This is a formidable target considering the present GER of 12.4%. While there has been some private investment in setting up institutions, there remains a glaring mismatch in demand and supply, particularly in high quality educational institutions. Example - only 1 out of approximately 150 applicants gets admission into the elite Indian Institute of Management (IIMs) compared with the ratio of 1:10 for MIT. It is therefore not surprising that an industry chamber has recently reported that 450,000 Indian students spend over USD 13 billion each year in acquiring higher education overseas. As a result of all of this, Higher Education segment is seeing some rapid transformations, both in India and internationally.
Technology is enabling multi-modal teaching, changing curricula and spawning rich forms of online research and collaboration.
Technological innovation, long a hallmark of academic research, may now be changing the very way that Schools & Universities teach and students learn. For academic institutions, charged with equipping students to compete in today’s knowledge economy, the possibilities are great. Distance education, sophisticated learning-management systems and the opportunity to collaborate with research partners from around the world are just some of the transformational benefits that universities are embracing.
But significant challenges also loom. For all of its benefits, technology remains a disruptive innovation—and an expensive one. Faculty members used to teaching in one way may be loath to invest the time to learn new methods, and may lack the budget for needed support.
Technology would make the greatest contribution in terms of improving educational quality over the next five years along with dynamic delivery of content and software that supports individually paced learning. Sophisticated learning-management systems and enhanced video and presentation tools are among other innovations that are likely to have a profound effect on the academic experience.
It is interesting to note that despite the growing array of technology-enabled teaching tools available, nearly three-quarters of participants say that the greatest potential benefit of technology is something far more straightforward—namely, the expanded access to educational and reference resources that it provides.
Collectively, such advances may lead to profound changes in the way courses are taught. Our theme was chosen deliberately to reflect the edgy, uncertain and intellectually challenging times that we are facing in education space specifically Higher & VET.
The Summit will provide a platform for Industry leaders to discuss important issues which will shape the future of the sector. At this Event we will discuss, debate and strategize and highlight the key issues like, the role of ICT in education system, how to encourage PPP & international participations in the Higher Education & Skill Development, what are the government priorities and what kind of initiatives are required from the them to raise the quality & standard of the Education.
In addition to providing a forum for the voices of academic staff, researchers and professional staff who find themselves at the front lines of a rapidly diversifying higher education workforce, the conference aims to push some of the more traditional higher education boundaries by encouraging representation from colleagues in the vocational education and training sector, from business, industry and the private sector. Senior institutional leaders and policy makers will play a pivotal role in our conference as we consider both the policy and the practical implications of what it means to engage with higher education.