On January 9-10, British Council organised the fourth global education dialogue on “Higher Education and Employability: A New Paradigm, A New Challenge” as part of its South Asia series in Mumbai. Centred on the findings of British Council research commissioned through the Economist Intelligence Unit on the South Asia Paradox of “High university enrolment, low graduate employment”, the discussion highlighted how industry and higher education could collaborate to create supportive policy infrastructure to enhance employability in graduates to meet the fast-growing needs of South Asian economies. Regular revision of curriculum based on market needs, investment in training teachers, stronger accreditation frameworks, regulation and monitoring are some of the recommendations of the report. Despite increasing opportunities for higher education, levels of unemployment remain high among recent graduates. A study of 40,000 technical graduates in India found that in high growth sectors such as BPO, employability was only 38.2%. Scenarios such as this indicate a disconnect between industry expectations and what higher education institutions offer and require innovative approaches to skill development. Report findings reiterate low quality of education, lack of focus on developing English language and soft skills as some of the causes for this gap. The report recommended compulsory internships and mechanisms to facilitate transition between classroom and workplace, more focus on case studies, presentations and analytical assignments and less importance on ‘final exams’ and rote-learning were some of the other approaches needed for skill development to address ‘employability’ concerns.
Yamaha starts a safety initiative for school-kids
Last week, Yamaha Motor India Sales (YMIS) unveiled its maiden brand mascot to promote the Yamaha Children Safety Program (YCSP). The mascot has been designed to strengthen the brand connect with kids. The YCSP is a social initiative by the company to educate and influence both parents and children about vital road safety measures. The mascot has been developed to arouse interest among kids about the programme. The company will carry out safety riding activities in schools across the country. The company has plans to finalise the name of the mascot through a contest, which started on January 10 and will conclude on January 27.