The 2020 T-School survey from DQ and CMR have thrown some interesting insights, and a very positive progress across all the key consideration-sets of the DQ PACE Framework. While this is great, there is always the scope to build upon the success, and improve upon the performance of T-Schools.
Here are some thoughts on what needs to be done to re-invigorate technical education, and to T-Schools, to prepare them for the challenges of the present, including Industry 4.0, and the future. These are our four recommendations for preparing T-Schools for the future:
01 Building upon, and improving pedagogy
The academic infrastructure at T-Schools should be enhanced by encouraging more research collaborations with global institutions. This, in turn, will enable the standards of research scholarship to rise, as students and faculty get more exposure, and gain insights into pedagogical approaches elsewhere.
As a result of such international collaborations, the brand equity of the T-Schools would also significantly increase, and will result in attracting talented academics, industry experts, budding start-up entrepreneurs, as well as promising students to the T-School. Beyond existing programs, T-Schools should look at diversifying into new knowledge streams in emerging technology areas.
02 Attracting and retaining skilled faculty
For T-Schools, a key challenge remains in attracting and retaining high quality academics on their faculty. The faculty at T-Schools are focused not just on imparting education, training and development to students, but also called-upon to carry out and publish high-quality research, while playing a key role in the administrative activities.
A high quality research environment that supports and nurtures scholarship, and backed by a good compensation and attractive incentives, would enable T-Schools to attract, and more importantly, retain faculty.
03 Fostering future-ready skills through industry linkages
There is a need to build upon T-School - industry linkages. There are strong ecosystem linkages that T-School leaders have, while others are seeking to ramp-up such linkages. Given that industry depends on T-Schools for skill supply, there is potential to have a greater dialogue on designing skills programs tuned to local industry demand.
This could be through modes such as technical internships that enable students to gain more real-world experience in multi-disciplinary work environments in large companies as well as start-ups.
04 Build ease of business to benefit T-Schools and industry alike
There should be a greater ‘ease of business’ at T-Schools, facilitated by Government, to smoothen the industry interface, and enable industry to facilitate and actively participate in research.
Such ease of business would help industry to support research and campus infrastructure with their corporate endowments, resulting in greater share of impactful industry-oriented research. Simultaneously, T-Schools should have greater ease of business to monetize their research through industry-oriented research and consultancy projects.
-- Prabhu Ram, Head-Industry Research Group at CMR