What Indians believe to be the future of education

According to quantitative research of EDHEC, Indians believe Covid-19 pandemic will impact delivery of higher education for years to come

Published: Sep 29, 2020 05:12:38 PM IST
Updated: Sep 29, 2020 05:23:03 PM IST

future of educationImage: Shutterstock

Indians unanimously agree that new technologies provide positive support for higher education
•    Indians rank their higher education system as satisfactory - whether concerning the education they personally received (86%, including 43% very satisfied), current higher education system (85% say it is high-quality, 48% fully agree) or the education for future generations (92% including 57% fully). India’s scores are significantly higher than other countries surveyed.

•    Nevertheless, they do believe that their higher education system must transform continuously: concerning the different aspects tested - transformation of formats and learning tools, programs or role of teachers, 70% of Indians feel upgrading of teaching skills is important  & 40% feel teachers are indispensable.

India along with France believes transformation as a key while other countries have stressed on evolving the education system.

•    Recognizing quality of their current model, Indians are pitching for digitizing their higher education. Most agree that digitization can transofrm higher education: 99% feel digitizing higher education is a good thing, 74% voted it as a very good initiative (versus 29-65% in other countries). 84% feel new technologies can achieve the desired transformation. Digitization shall bring in positive changes to benefit coming generations (96%, including 75% fully agree), improve teaching skills (95%, including 71% fully agree) & make education accessible to everyone (92%, 67%).

Considering these data points, India seems more convinced on capabilities of digitization to facilitate access to higher education.

•    Indians also perceived very concrete consequences of involving new technologies in higher education. Digitization can supplement theoretical education via virtual reality (93%, including 57% fully agree) and other learning formats (92% including 61% fully agree). Indians support personalization of education (92% including 58% fully agree) and development of teamwork through information sharing (92% including 59% fully agree).

Teaching will be less a vector of knowledge than peer-to-peer learning
•    Role of teachers remains critical. While Indians believe digitization is necessary, that does not diminish importance of teachers & learning methods. 55% feel teachers will use new learning methodologies to help students acquire relational skills like creativity & critical thinking.
o    Acquiring these skills is voted highly: creativity (53%), leadership (50%) & teamwork (40%) are considered important to develop through higher education.

A similar response is received from SA respondents. However, UK and USA have voted for analysis & leadership skills. While France voted for open-mindedness & adaptability as their top relational skills.

Strong interest for social & cultural diversity
•    The student population is internationally mobile*. 92% Indians feel their higher education system prepares them for international opportunities (including 60% fully). Moreover, India (28%) views opening up to international opportunities as a strength, behind France (30%).

•    Nevertheless Indians believe their education system caters to students across socioeconomic backgrounds (54%), quality of its teaching (52%) and diverse curriculum (48%).

•    Quality of studies offered remains most significant asset for Indians(47%) followed by student services and to be in sync with digital transformations in higher education system.

An educational system which must fight to preserve the environment
•    Emphasizing on higher education for all, 41% feel institutions must above all raise awareness against social inequality. 

o    For Indians, inaccessibility of higher education is less a question of tuition cost than material conditions: 38% declared a need to improve living conditions (housing/food/transportation) versus 24% who seek increase in scholarships.

•    Another core topic to be promoted through higher education is preserving the environment (43%). 58% feel that higher education can impact preservation of environment by modulating its curricula (32%) and its programs (26%), rather than financing dedicated projects (41%).

Ability to adapt program content and create curricula dedicated to environment preservation is seen much more important in India than France.

•    Gender equality is important, and most Indian respondents feel higher education system must ensure greater representation of women both in learning (92%, including 61% who are very favorable), and teaching (91%, including 60% who are very favorable).

A fairly positive impression of the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on higher education
•    Indians believe Covid-19 pandemic will impact delivery of higher education for years to come: 82% estimate growth in discipline like healthcare (66%) and social economics (51%). 91% agree that teaching will be dispensed remotely - at least partially (45%)

Comparing with other nationalities, Indians have overwhelmingly voted to a complete shift towards remote-learning.

o    87% of Indians have a positive judgment of remote teaching during the lockdown, including 48% very positive.

o    In fact, 92% feel digitizing higher education is a good thing. While we did observe a 7-point drop versus the measurement last January, this drop does not have a negative impact on the popularity of new technologies which are still largely approved.

•    However, the negative impacts of the crisis are also felt: despite a high propensity toward international travel from Indian students, 91% of those surveyed declare that they will probably limit their travel in the years to come because of the pandemic.

Click here to see Forbes India's comprehensive coverage on the Covid-19 situation and its impact on life, business and the economy‚Äč

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