Changes in Higher Education in India and how to prepare for them

India is on a demographic edge. The country’s young population is expected to become the largest in the world by 2030, as per a study by Deloitte. But there are significant challenges and changes in the education system of the country. These alterations might hamper the overall advancement of the young talent pool unless there is adequate preparation. More so, aggravated by the COVID-19 situation in the country, higher education in India is facing numerous challenges. That said, it is hopeful that the country will emerge stronger from this complex situation and revamp itself to face the challenges fully prepared. Parents and students also need to prepare themselves in advance to ensure they move ahead with the changing tides.

Here are some of the things that are changing the face of higher education in India:

The diminishing physical books: 

Gone are the days when print books were the only medium to study and gain knowledge. Now, schools are increasingly switching to e-books and digital reading over paper textbooks. On one hand, you could call it advancement due to the immersive learning environment that digital mode provides, but it has several drawbacks. One, students’ vision is hampered by continuous exposure to digital screens. Second, the cost of e-books is considerably higher than the paper ones. Moreover, the concentration when reading from e-books is significantly lower than normal textbooks.

 

The popularity of online education: 

It is the era of the digital age. Just as everything in your life is penetrated by digital screens, education is no exception. Also, thanks to the pandemic, the popularity of online education has grown so much in the country. The online education market in India is likely to grow to $1.96 billion, with more than 9.6 million users by 2021. Factors responsible for the growth include convenience, flexibility, a variety of study materials, etc. In the coming years, online education is going to grow much more. This will make children compete with the international education system, but for parents, the cost of online education can be burdening. Children will require laptops or computers, and related accessories to study online. Moreover, the expenditure on the internet will increase. That said, it is not possible to evade this upcoming trend. Hence, it shall be good for students to adapt to the online world soon, and for parents, it is best if they increase their savings to meet the financial demands in the coming future.

 

The emergence of new educational platforms: 

In addition to the growing popularity of online education, there has also been the birth of several online educational platforms. These platforms such as BYJU’s, Edukart, Coursera, Uncademy, etc. offer various courses online, enabling students to expand their educational horizon even at home. The platforms provide distance learning, schooling, specialized courses, coding classes, etc. However, most of these courses are expensive and the free online courses are often very basic. Moreover, these educational platforms might seem economical at the moment, especially due to the COVID-19 situation, but eventually, when students return to their normal school days, the parents would be burdened with the education fees too.

 

The increasing popularity of less common professional courses: 

The world has expanded, and so has the mind of students. There is a sharp rise in the demand for otherwise less popular courses like computers, Big Data, analytics, artificial learning, personal development, culinary arts, languages, music, social science, cyber forensics, etc. With the dramatic rise of these streams, the fees are also pushing the boundaries. 

 

Need for applied learning and hands-on training: 

With the changing dynamics of business, companies now demand employees that have more applied knowledge and realistic skills than bookish knowledge. In such a scenario, the responsibility lies in the education system of the country to provide a workforce that has practical knowledge and real-life applicability skills. To meet this demand, educational institutions are adopting newer educational technologies, offering hands-on experience, corporate internships, practical projects, etc. While this is going to open world-class opportunities for the students, it would create a strenuous impact on the budget of the parents. 

 

Focus on continuous long-term engagement: 

No longer is the Indian education system creating division between education and professional life. Now, the arrangement is such that higher education is directly followed by and often merged with professional training. This implies that the last learning years encompass professional training in the real-world. While this is a critical step towards advancement in this sphere, it also has fiscal implications. Parents would need to support their children for a longer time, especially during the first few years of their professional lives. Fields like engineering, medicine, financial services, etc. were already applying this model, newer areas like analytics, business studies, etc. are catching up.

 

With such trends, all set to change the Indian education system, it is wiser for parents to plan well for the kid’s future.

 

How to prepare for the changing dynamics of higher education in India?

With so many new variations anticipated, preparing for your child’s education might seem like a daunting task at the present. However, if you start well in advance and take the right steps, the process will set the path right.

As a parent, you could take the following measures to ensure you brace well for the future:

Keep yourself informed: ​

No matter how busy or occupied you are with other things in life, make sure to take time to learn about the developments in the education sphere. Keep yourself updated with the new trends, in-demand career choices, changing fee patterns, the popularity of skills, and more. You could read the newspaper, specifically the careers and job sections to know what is new in the field. Also, educational magazines and online articles are great sources for information. 

Have adequate financial support: 

The changes in the education pattern have made one thing evident that education is going to get expensive in the coming times. Moreover, newer technologies will need more funds for adoption. So, it is always wiser to create a solid financial plan to ensure there is adequate monetary support for the future. While you could choose to set a specific sum aside as savings or rely on high-risk investments to get easier returns. It is always advisable to create a balanced portfolio of security and returns. You should keep safe insurance policies like the Aviva New Wealth Builder plan, which not only offers protection against unforeseen circumstances but also promises guaranteed payouts, provided all due premiums are paid. The plan also offers tax exemptions (subject to prevalent tax laws), allowing you to save more. With such reliable plans, you can secure the future of your child, no matter how tough times are.

 

Be ready to face challenges: 

As a parent, you know it better than anyone that success does not come easy. Life is full of challenges and irrespective of how talented your child is, a lot of things might not work in their favor. Despite strong knowledge, financial support, and the right guidance, your child may take his time to settle and create his niche. So, be patient and also financially supportive during the challenging phase. There is no need to worry because with the growth in opportunities and knowledge, sooner or later, your child will make their mark. 

 

As parents, you would want the best for your child. To fulfill their dreams and make them competently skilled to take on the world, you must take the correct steps in the present. Start small, start early with reliable plans like the Aviva New Wealth Builder. With such secure policies, you not only buy financial protection against uncertainties you also allow your reserves to grow and provide a safety net for your child’s bright future.

 

AN Nov 48/20
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