Emphasising the need for a Higher Education Commission of India (HECI), Sastra University Vice-Chancellor S Vaidhyasubramaniam said the new education policy (NEP) will bring in key changes such as the ‘phygital education’, creative ways of pedagogies and choice-based opportunity for students.

Participating at the BLChangemaker Awards Ceremony in New Delhi, Vaidhyasubramaniam said the boundary between public and private institutions will slowly fade away because of the NEP 2020, which has come after a gap of 34 years.

“The policy is perfectly in place. We need an HECI, which can usurp all the regulatory bodies so that institutions should no longer run to different corners for different types of solutions. All should be unified so that teething problems are removed,” he said.

He also advocated a creative model and named it as “not for loss enterprise” which can emerge between “for profit” and “not-for-profit” models.

A major change that will disrupt the conventional teaching-learning mechanism is the combination of physical and digital education, called phygital, Vaidhyasubramaniam said adding it will happen at all levels starting from KG and not just higher education.

The choice based learning- any time enter and exit mechanism -is also actually disrupting the conventional 3-year, 4-year courses. It i will provide students a lot of opportunities which were not there earlier, he said.

“The NEP2020 itself has some policies that can trigger creative changes, that can not only address the issue of affordability, but a host of other issues as well that confronted the education ecosystem quite a number of years. These are transformational policies which do not often come,” he said.

Autonomy to institutions

The centre piece of NEP 2020 is to provide a sense of autonomy to institutions, he said adding the difference between public and private educational institutions will fade away.

Asked about the rising cost of education, he said: “The flexibility given to institutions has created a lot of opportunities to build a sustainable model that can drive down the cost of education. The fear that NEP will increase the cost is not really true.”

The shelf life of NEP is 30 years and it is not going to happen overnight and the journey has begun and will definitely achieve the objectives.

S Vaidhyasubramaniam, Vice-Chancellor, Sastra University on building world class institutions
Video Credit: Video: Abhishek Law

He said the huge investments being made in the education sector worldwide are also shrinking the time period required to establish an institution. For instance, the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Dubai was recently committed to receive $3 billion investments to come up in five years as against $100 million investment in 20 years committed by University of Chicago in the early 20th century to build a worldclass university.