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India's higher education system is the third largest in the world, next to the United States and China. The main governing body at the tertiary level is the University Grants Commission, which enforces its standards, advises the Colonial efforts in higher education were carried out initially through the East India Company.
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Geneva: International Labour Office.

Evans, L. Abbott, R. Goodyear, and A. Pritchard A consideration of some of the main issues in the current debate. Hayes, D. Hodkinson, P. Issitt London: Cassell Education. Huddleston, P. Abbott Hyland, T. Jessup, G. London: Falmer Press. Lave, J. Resnick, J. Levine, and S. Teasley, eds. Wenger Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Miller, A. Cramphorn, P. Huddleston, and J. Woolhouse Making Education Our Business. National Skills Task Force Towards a National Skills Agenda. NCVQ London: NCVQ. But, as alternative education options proliferate and gain status, they could become a first stop for students seeking to further explore their interests and to test different career options before committing to a six-figure college education, serving as a new gap-year option.

For others, they may become an increasingly attractive substitute for a traditional four-year degree. According to Chris Terman, a senior lecturer in electrical engineering and computer science at MIT, the courses for the computer science series can give students a solid foundation in fundamentals, which gives them a strong jump start on future studies or prepare them for a summer internship.

Indiana Academic Standards

Other online learning platforms such as Lynda. Furthermore, a wave of new in-person, non-accredited educational options have increased tenfold in the past year to meet the increasing demand for certain skills. One example, HackReactor, focuses on computer programming, placing a dozen students at a time in an immersive training environment for three months.

While MOOCs and immersives are still in their infancy and are undergoing optimization for a new delivery channel and to keep pace with continuously evolving content, they represent early attempts to tackle both the financial and geographic barriers to learning. Returning to the case of Laura.

Laura represents a new breed of students who have made the most of the changing landscape for higher education. Before pursuing higher education, she worked out that math and design were her strongest skills, which helped narrow her focus to certain career paths which she further explored before ultimately landing on architecture as her chosen profession. She collapsed the time to acquire core skills by completing a self-paced competency-based degree program before investing in a three-month immersive course to rapidly develop hard skills.

At the same time she began to grow a network of peers, mentors, and employers. The university certificate provided an opportunity for her to further develop specific areas of expertise, while continuing to grow her network. All the while, she participated in internships and other hands-on opportunities to further refine her skills and gain professional experience before landing her first job.

This by no means spells the end of higher education institutions, but rather takes into account a dynamic and burgeoning higher education marketplace that will, in effect, enable entrepreneurial students like Laura to design their own education.

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Given the pace of change, the emergence of entirely new categories of jobs will likely become more common. To keep pace with the ever-quicker cycle of creative destruction, lifelong learning will become a permanent part of our professional lives. This, in turn, is prompting innovators to develop new credentialing infrastructure to support lifelong learning. As alternative models proliferate, businesses will need ways to compare the relative merits of various credentials. New services such as Balloon, Degreed, and Parchment are all trying to fill this void by making clear connections between skills, courses, and jobs for students and employers.

Acting as an online marketplace of alternative education options, Balloon, from Apollo Education Group, is an online career skills and learning platform that connects students to nearly 15, courses provided by leading technology companies and education providers.

Another firm, Degreed, assigns scores to the full range of educational opportunities available, from MOOCs and immersives to college degrees and corporate training. This score, in turn, allows employers to make quick apples-to-apples comparisons of educational achievement across different domains.

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Parchment is overhauling the outdated process of requesting and mailing transcripts by creating an online exchange that connects students and employers with transcript information. In the same way that electronic medical records can follow us, regardless of where we receive treatment, our educational records should follow us to accurately capture the total sum of our credentials. Since , the cost of college tuition has risen by percent. The consumer price index, by contrast, increased just percent over the same time period.

The rising cost of college is, in turn, putting downward pressure on enrollments. Across the country, college enrollments have dropped from According to the American Freshman Survey, 76 percent of students were admitted to their first-choice college, but only 57 percent actually enrolled in their top-choice school, primarily due to cost. The federal government, too, has increased its focus on college affordability. With the recent introduction of the College Scorecard, a ratings system that evaluates affordability, access, and student outcomes, colleges and universities are subject to greater transparency.

These ratings may eventually be linked to federal student aid, providing an incentive for colleges and universities to address the challenges of cost and to improve outcomes. Eighty-six percent of incoming freshmen say that getting a better job is a very important motivator in their decision to go to college.

America has more than 4, colleges and universities. But, as more studies show that a significant percentage of students are failing to learn how to think critically and reason analytically, among other higher-level skills students are supposed to acquire through a liberal arts education, improving learning outcomes and connecting these higher-level competencies back to real-world applications will be critical. According to a Collegiate Learning Assessment, 36 percent of students do not demonstrate any significant improvement in learning over four years of college, primarily due to limited academic rigor.

For colleges to succeed in this new era, they will have to find ways to connect their students with the people and institutions on the front lines of new knowledge and to instill in students an ability to learn how to learn, unlearn, and relearn. There are strong arguments that universities need to become more focused in what they offer, more connected to a broader ecosystem, and more open to experimenting with new models of learning that improve student learning outcomes.

Rather than trying to be all things to all people, some universities are beginning to carve out unique niches in the market for higher education, shedding unnecessary costs and better differentiating themselves from their peers. Its curriculum allows students to apply classroom knowledge to real-world settings through partnerships with leading research institutions and other universities.

Georgia Institute of Technology, by contrast, has focused on providing the lowest-cost options in fields undergoing a rapid growth in demand. Instead, it allows universities to clearly articulate their unique value proposition for students. For example, a university could define itself as an international policy school. It could still provide all the essentials of a liberal arts education, with degrees in everything from journalism to business. Its differentiator would be an international policy emphasis in all courses and services, giving it a central role within the broader international affairs community that allows it to connect students with employers and other leading institutions.

In a globally competitive industry—one adding new alternatives on a daily basis—a niche focus allows students to better understand the unique value of their education that sets them apart from their peers and gives them access to the relevant knowledge flows in their chosen field. Once a niche is identified, colleges and universities can work backward to redesign their business models to align with the particular market they are serving. Eighty percent of all Americans believe that the typical college education is not worth its cost.

The grants it provides reward colleges and universities for testing these models. NLGC has tested a range of models and found that no one is best, but rather that multiple models allow students to self-select the one that best meets their needs. Southern New Hampshire University, for instance, used this grant funding to create the aforementioned College for America, which offers an online competency-based degree at a low cost that can be completed in as little as a year. Still other ongoing experiments across the country test everything from dynamic tuition pricing to new paths for obtaining credentials.

In California, a new law allows Long Beach University to pilot dynamic pricing per credit, which increases the cost per credit for high-demand courses. The University System of Georgia, departing from all-or-nothing credentialing schemes, offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications with intermediary markers of achievement that is targeted for students who may not be able to complete a four-year degree.

By staging credentials, students are encouraged to progress, but should they opt to pause their education, they have employer marketability and can easily return to complete their degree down the road. A newcomer to higher education, Minerva is reinventing the college experience through its global immersion undergraduate degree program. Students complete introductory courses through MOOCs and more advanced coursework through live, online video seminars, with professors using advanced software that tracks student learning.

Also emerging are partnerships that help students graduate with a clear career path. Thirteen universities have partnered with Koru, a startup focused on reinventing the internship experience by connecting universities with leading employers to provide students with immersive learning experiences that emphasize skills development, coaching, and mentorship. A first step for institutions of higher education is to go beyond accreditation criteria and do an honest assessment of the value they provide to students.

Institutions that do not clearly articulate and deliver value to students will likely, in time, be displaced by newcomers who do. Given the changing landscape of higher education, successful colleges and universities will redevelop their business models based on what they can uniquely provide to students, and deliver that value in ways that decrease price premiums. The outcome of these strategic choices will lead to greater recognition—from students and donors to employers—of the distinct value the college is able to provide.

Just as TERI University and others are creating successful niches focused on value to students—through career focus, low cost, and personalization—so too must others carve out their own spaces. Until recently, most yardsticks for measuring success in higher education have been output-focused—the number of credit hours completed, the percentage of students who graduate in four years, and so on.

As open government data is combined with private sector career and salary data, the focus is shifting to student outcomes student debt ratios, job placements, career preparedness, and satisfaction ratings. While many colleges and universities have perfected the art and science of the admissions process, they have not applied the same analytical rigor to the business of educating students, or to tracking their success after graduation. Yet the benefits of effective student outcome tracking can be significant. This is especially important for at-risk students who, without support, may flunk courses or drop out before completing their degree.

And monitoring student progress throughout college can help faculty and staff better position students for career success. If a student excels in economics but struggles in the biology courses needed for his or her major, for instance, it could be cause for a career discussion. Such interventions will help to create a sense of shared accountability for outcomes on the part of both students and institutions. An outcome focus will benefit colleges and universities over the long run. According to a recent Pew survey, the Millennial generation defined by Pew as Americans aged 18 to 33 has higher levels of student loan debt, poverty, and unemployment, and lower levels of wealth and personal income, than the two preceding generations had at the same age.

More than a quarter of us still live with our parents, and only 30 percent think of our current jobs as careers. And yet, we are the best-educated generation in American history. By shifting the focus from outputs to outcomes, and applying the analytical rigor of the admissions process to the entire student lifecycle—from the time students step foot on campus through their post-graduation careers—universities can better position students for success after college.

One way to do this is by comparing traditional success measures think number and quantity with emerging success measures think degree and quality —many of which are also tracked by major, not just for the college as a whole see figure 8. With a flurry of new educational technologies and models under development, colleges and universities are ideally positioned to experiment with and adopt solutions that facilitate better student-focused outcomes.

The hackathon resulted in the creation of the Georgetown Experimental Learning Lab, which creates immersive experiences for students to role play realistic business scenarios like a client meeting, for example. This idea will be piloted at the university to test its merits. To foster innovation, the Harvard Innovation Lab i-lab serves as a community space for bringing students and faculty together with the wider Boston community to explore new ideas. The i-lab applies a unique pedagogy which combines entrepreneurial coursework with hands-on experience, allowing students to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills that are desired by employers, but often lacking in recent graduates.

The lab is an incubator, staffed by academic and technology experts, that works with students to develop and pilot new models of education that use competency-based approaches and leverage technology, community support, social networking, and a strong assessment component.

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Creating opportunities for exploration, engagement, and experimentation allows a wide swath to have a say in the inevitable changes facing higher education and provides insights from the people most affected. To combat institutional inertia, these colleges and universities are adopting a lean startup mentality, quickly testing solutions on a small scale before making a decision on whether to drop, modify, or scale them for wider use.

DePaul University did exactly this when it began using CourseSignals, a predictive analytics software package, in a few classes to determine the impact analytics would have on student learning outcomes. Recognizing its success, the university subsequently rolled it out to additional courses the next semester. About 10 million Americans are unemployed, while 4 million jobs go unfilled. According to a recent survey by ManpowerGrowth, 39 percent of US employers are in this position. To close the skills gap, businesses must shift their hiring practices to accept both traditional and alternative credentials in order to expand the pool of talent.

They must also rethink corporate training in the wake of an accelerating cycle of obsolescence that depreciates the knowledge and skills acquired in school. The ability to rapidly retrain employees will provide an important competitive edge. Recognizing the far shorter duration of many alternatives often measured in weeks rather than years , and the nature of the in-demand skills they provide, an increasing number of employers are viewing them as a suitable prerequisite for entry-level jobs. Businesses can reap the benefits of just-in-time learning by recognizing the badges and certificates awarded by alternative education options that provide students rapid acquisition of much needed web programing and design skills.

As the number of educational providers proliferates, and with it the variety of possible certificates, badges, and other credentials, employers will need to revisit their talent acquisition processes.


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Simply put, digital-age resumes, which may include incredibly diverse portfolios of credentials, professional experience, and work-relevant projects, will call for an overhaul of traditional talent screening processes. One student may have specialized in data science at a prestigious four-year university, while another may present an online certificate in data science and a robust portfolio of work; yet another may have completed a week immersive course in data science and have five years of work experience in statistical analysis.

Which is best for the job? While the average student pursuing alternative education paths today has already obtained a four-year degree, it is likely that alternatives will become a first stop for many students seeking career options in a shorter timeframe and with less of a financial commitment. As low- or no-cost educational alternatives become a viable option for just-in-time learning, employers will have greater access to a growing talent pool that possesses the skills they seek.

By clearly defining competencies and using normalized educational data to assess them, employers will be better positioned to fulfill their talent needs. The days when student life ended with a college degree are all but gone. By , the knowledge college students acquire will have an expected shelf life of less than five years.

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To keep up with this pace of change, lifelong learning will become a permanent fixture of professional life. Heriot-Watt University is responsible for developing and implementing quality assurance processes. These ensure that academic standards are maintained and that processes are operating effectively. These processes are subject to external scrutiny and review by the QAA. For EBS, as for all other Schools, these responsibilities are fulfilled through : 1 The approval of new programmes and awards by the University's Postgraduate Studies Committee. External examiners sit on the board and are responsible for ensuring that the assessment procedures are conducted in accordance with the regulations and that the standards of assessment are appropriate, fair and comparable with other institutions in the UK sector.

The vast majority of student feedback is very favourable, particularly with regard to the flexibility offered by EBS' programmes. EBS is a truly international School. We take particular care to comply with registration and quality requirements set by different authorities across the world. Both independently, and through our Learning Partners, EBS ensures that the necessary registrations are in place with each country's Ministry of Education or other legislative bodies.

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