With the vision of ‘Making India Employable’, TeamLease EdTech, one of India’s leading learning solutions companies, has launched a detailed report titled Designing Higher Education for the 21st Century Learner. The report surveyed more than 10,000 undergraduate and post-graduate students aged 18-25 at a pan-India level and was followed by comprehensive data analysis, data preparation, and report writing. The survey report was undertaken in an attempt to discover the evolving preferences and aspirations of traditional learners by lending them a credible voice.
To mark the 2nd anniversary of the NEP 2020, TeamLease EdTech (TLE) embarked on a mission to engage in a dialogue with its end beneficiaries – The Students. TeamLease EdTech conducted a comprehensive survey with students across cities, states, and even small towns to find out what they would like to achieve through higher education and how they would like to design their own learning. The survey and its consequent findings aimed to discover if the goals set under the NEP align with learners’ aspirations.
Here are the key learnings which emerged from the survey:
As per NEP 2020, students can enroll in Multidisciplinary degrees, which allows them to design educational programs to suit their interests and career goals. A multidisciplinary curriculum will enable students to study more than one major and look at topics from different viewpoints. The survey reported that 94% of learners would like to pursue a Multidisciplinary Degree allowing them to choose subjects from multiple fields as part of their program.
Students who are also seeking deeper engagement in two separate academic streams in order to have flexible options for career progression, can opt for a dual degree. The NEP report also identified that more than 90% of students have a keen interest in pursuing 2 degrees together. They believe this would give them an edge and a broader range of career options & skill sets to propel in their professional pursuits. With the NEP proposing a novel undergraduate learning structure of 3-4 years with multiple entry and exit option, only 24% of students think exiting and re-entering the university will reduce the credibility of their education.
In terms of having a work-integrated degree, more than 90% of students wish to enrol in a degree where learning doesn’t just happen inside a classroom. These students want their education to have some element of physical classroom/virtual classroom learning, some element of on-the-job learning and some project work. That’s not all. The report further indicated that more than 70% of students have expressed that they would like to pursue their degrees in a hybrid mode. They would like a portion of their course to be taught on campus, another segment online, and a part through on the job to make their education more wholesome.
Highlighting the need to bridge the gap between ‘traditional’ teaching methodologies and the application of industry knowledge in the classroom, 83% of students have expressed that they would like to be taught by a faculty panel consisting of traditional academicians and industry experts. 55.53% of students stated that they are ready to pay a premium on fees for online degrees if the courses are taught by qualified, skilled, and reputed faculty. But more than 60% of students have expressed that the fee for online courses should be at least 30% less than the on-campus fee as the delivery cost of online courses is lesser.
With new programs and industry-ready courses being created to pave new pathways for learners to meet the needs of the 21st-century workplace, 29.68% of students chose management as their preferred field of learning. While Management, Medicine and Engineering degrees received the highest no. of votes, almost 20% of students expressed interest in pursuing multidisciplinary degrees to help pave new pathways for learners to meet the needs of the 21st-century workplace.
Speaking on the survey findings, Shantanu Rooj, Founder and CEO, TeamLease EdTech, said, “The pandemic has inadvertently transformed learning and education models across the world. It is extremely important for India to recognize the shifting patterns of pedagogy and take meaningful measures to address the same. It has become clear that the traditional approaches to learning no longer make the cut today. This extensive and detailed survey takes into account the various proclivities nursed by students presently. The study has helped in discovering many new trends and interesting data points, All in all, this report will enable educators in designing Higher Education frameworks for the 21st Century Learners.”
Also commenting on the survey, Neeti Sharma, Co-Founder and President of TeamLease EdTech, said, “With the 21st century business world dictating new rules and digital pathways, it has become immensely essential for students today to match the evolving global standards of education and new-age learning methodologies. Through this survey, we have painstakingly attempted to dig deep into the goals and aspirations of the youth of the country and locate honest answers to their queries. We are confident that the learnings affirmed by this report will play a vast role in shaping the student of tomorrow by breaking traditional constraints and embracing the new.”
TeamLease EdTech’s mission and vision to improve the employability index has led to a clear framework of its operating model. It supports employers in creating long-term sustainable talent supply chains, enhances productivity and reduces attrition rates. The work-integrated learning programs help students to gain knowledge and skills directly related to employment demands. TeamLease EdTech’s innovation can fundamentally alter the landscape of higher education in the country over the coming few years.
The key takeaways of the report also include:
- 55.53% of students stated that they are ready to pay a premium on fees for online degrees if the courses are taught by qualified, skilled, and reputed faculty.
- 83% of students have expressed that they would like to be taught by a faculty panel consisting of traditional academicians and industry experts.
- Almost 70% of students would like the university to provide them with the option to exit and RE-ENTER their degree programs at multiple stages
- More than 40% of the students are ready to spend more for an online degree if the reputation of the institute and/or its past results are superior.
- More than 60% of students have expressed that the fee for online courses should be at least 30% less than the on-campus fee, given the delivery cost of online courses is lesser.
- 60% of the students would like to learn new domain skills from time to time after they graduate, while only 30% believe that their graduation degrees are enough to carry them to the top of their career ambitions.
- While Management, Medicine and Engineering degrees received the highest no. of votes, almost 20% of students expressed interest in pursuing multidisciplinary degrees to help pave new pathways for learners to meet the needs of the 21st-century workplace