The future of Indian higher education in the 21st century: employability, innovation and human values

The future of Indian higher education in the 21st century: employability, innovation and human values

Published on 28 March 2018

Building on the ACU's partnership with the Association of Indian Universities (AIU), the ACU recently joined the AIU's annual conference to deepen ties with Indian member institutions and collaborate with other key partners.

Taking place at the Central University of Tibetan Studies from March 19-21 2018, the conference focused on 'Higher Education in an Era of Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Disruptive Technology, with a Focus on Human Values in an Era of Disruption'.

The conference ignited a number of important deliberations on the future of Indian higher education in the 21st century. Focusing on the key themes of innovation, entrepreneurship, disruptive technology and human values, leaders asserted that while technology leads the way it must be strengthened with the inclusion of core human values. Delegates agreed that universities have a responsibility to deliver values-based education that also focuses on developing employability and entrepreneurship.

As well as vice-chancellors from leading Indian universities (including many ACU members) and AIU staff, delegates from the European Union, DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service), the World Bank and the ACU provided an international context to the conference, through sharing global perspectives from their higher education contexts. India has the youngest population in the world and as Francisco Marmolejo, Lead, Global Solutions Group on Tertiary Education for The World Bank said 'It is in the best interest of the world for India to succeed'.

Aditya Malkani, South Asia Representative for the ACU, said: 'Representing the ACU at the AIU conference was a great honour – especially meeting and interacting with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, whose words of wisdom will remain with me for many years to come. Particularly his views on world peace and his suggestion that the 21st century should not be one of "force" but one of "dialogue".

'I believe there is great potential for expanding our work in India with the support and involvement of Indian universities, many of whom are our members already. Our scholarship programmes, work in gender, and support for early career academic staff are high priority areas for Indian institutions, with whom we hope to enjoy fruitful collaborations for many years to come.'

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The ACU is the voice for higher education in the Commonwealth. Established over 100 years ago in 1913, the ACU is the world's first international university network and remains one of the most diverse, with 500+ members (including over 150 of these based in India) across more than 50 countries.

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