Numerous academic studies have highlighted that students with close, amicable, and encouraging relationships with their teachers achieve higher levels of intellectual and personal growth. However, student-teacher interactions in higher education have several challenges. The digital divide, evolving communication styles, misaligned expectations, informality versus formality, diversity and inclusion, resource accessibility, work-life balance, preferences for feedback and assessments and social media are a few of these. The digital gap may lead to comprehension problems between tech-savvy students and teachers who may not be as tech-savvy. Dissent may arise if expectations about feedback systems, evaluation techniques, and teaching styles are not addressed.

In universities, poor student-teacher relations can result in problems such as lower student engagement, less inclusive communication, lower motivation, a dispassionate classroom environment, less professional development, a weak sense of community, a dearth of collaborative projects, and a lack of openness. These problems may dilute academic achievement, the institution’s reputation, and the quality of educational processes. Students could be reluctant to ask questions or voice concerns, resulting in miscommunications and making the classroom a static place. Thus, universities must invest in initiatives that promote constructive relationships, efficient communication, and an inclusive and diverse environment.

Many advantages emerge from good student-teacher relations in higher education, including increased motivation and enthusiasm, better academic performance, a positive learning environment, effective communication, better retention rates, better collaborative learning, physical and mental well-being, higher levels of student satisfaction, increased alumni engagement and loyalty, and a positive impact on the reputation of the institution.

A crucial aspect of an inclusive and progressively growing university is to create a dynamic behavioural system that makes the student, faculty and staff adaptive learners. It implies that knowledge is not a standardised object. Instead, it is a spiral of creativity in making artefacts and models, impactful socialisation and insightful internalisation. The learning patterns in university must be relevant to the problems of society, state, and industry. In the context of complex digital networks and the challenges of climate change, universities must creatively forge alliances with society, state and industry. An interactive, participative and innovative pedagogy and classroom is the core of this culture.

Managing the demands of the university while taking mental health into account is a difficult task. Changes in education, such as cooperative learning and flipped classrooms, may call for adaptations from educators and learners alike. There might be difficulties in adjusting to new positions and using social media. Open communication, adaptability, and a readiness to change with the times are necessary to meet these difficulties in higher education.

Teachers should promote clear expectations. Real-world relevance and individual learning style considerations are critical components of personalised learning. Opportunities for professional growth are given by giving students guidance on their career routes and insights into current business trends.

Teachers must engage in reflective practices to continuously evaluate and modify their methods of instruction in light of student feedback and changing trends in education. Participating in workshops, getting input from peers, and keeping up with the latest developments in higher education best practices are all essential components of continuous growth.

To foster healthy relationships, students should attend classes regularly and maintain a respectful manner.

Pandit works with the IGIDR, Mumbai, and Paul works with the TISS, Mumbai. Views are personal