“We rarely hear of educational institutions incorporating risk-management processes into their framework. However, this pandemic has taught us that risk assessment, risk mitigation, risk management and risk control are necessary for the education sector, too,” said Anil Sahasrabudhe, chairman, AICTE
During the recent webinar ‘Risk-Proofing the Future of Education’ organised by the Institute of Risk Management, India Affiliate, and AICTE, Hersh Shah, the CEO of IRM India, said that educational institutions are just as exposed to risk as companies. “They face risks such as reducing demand in courses, defaults in fee payment, reputation issues associated with faculty/students, safety and security, and non-compliance with regulations. Hence, having robust risk processes in place to anticipate and deal with uncertainties is important for academic institutions,” he said.
“We rarely hear of educational institutions incorporating risk-management processes into their framework. However, this pandemic has taught us that risk assessment, risk mitigation, risk management and risk control are necessary for the education sector, too,” added Anil Sahasrabudhe, chairman, AICTE, who was a keynote speaker.
Going forward, as corporates focus on customer experience, educational institutions should also do the same, where the student is a customer. “In the education sector, the customer and the consumer are different. The customer being the parent takes decisions on behalf of the consumer, the students,” Shah said. “While the customer will look for ROI—what is the possibility of future growth with their chosen education trajectory—the consumer will look for experience. Keeping expectations of both these stakeholders aligned is important.”
Shah added that the NEP 2020 has brought student experience to the forefront, as it provides a platform for parents and students to decide from myriad opportunities and career paths, thereby fostering multidisciplinary learning.
Sahasrabudhe said that the system of student feedback on courses, curriculum and teachers has to become a fixed part of the education sector’s practices.
At a time when there is a growing relevance of credentials awarded by the industry, what is the value of supplementary, add-on degrees provided by universities? Shah said that the value of a degree will remain important because the education for which that degree was awarded will always remain valuable. “Building the right career path requires the creation of a strong foundation through learning, and just like industry credentials are an endorsement of one’s career achievements, degrees serve as evidence of one’s education and skills,” he said.
Sahasrabudhe added that university degrees will continue to hold relevance because of the sheer number of job applicants vying for the same spot. “However, an increasing number of companies will give importance to skills and industry experience, and auxiliary or complementary training through non-formal training institutes will gain importance. Hence, traditional universities need to change their outlook and include skills training in their courses in order to stay relevant in today’s competitive job market.”