How The Best Universities in Asia are Adapting to the Changing Business Paradigm – Dr. Richa Arora

Dr. Richa Arora
Dr. Richa Arora

Education is undergoing paradigmatic changes, and universities are feeling the brunt of these changes. The concept of ‘business as usual’ is over for traditional universities and educational institutions, and this is visible as we have witnessed several noteworthy financial struggles, mergers, and acquisitions.

The critical reasons behind these changes and developments that are so uneven across geographies outline the alternative strategic trajectories for the Universities, which majorly fall under the category of 3Cs—Customers, Competitors, and Company—as a framework within which to scrutinize important drivers of change in more depth. In terms of customers, the focus is on shifts in demand connected to technological developments and value changes among customers. With regard to competitors, digitalization is once again the key driver of change in that it leads to an increasing number of alternative suppliers of education institutions, and lastly, the vast number and heterogeneity of education institutions and their movement into the education sector brings in more competition.

Considering all the above challenges, the best universities in Asia are considering the need for more radical business-model innovations, and while the turbulent changes in the environment are clearly uncomfortable for many Universities, they are looking at them as opportunities and not just as threats. Taking maximum advantage of the changes required the courage to chart new routes, which are very different for universities with different resources, capabilities, and purposes. A few noteworthy changes that the Universities have adopted are:

1. Collaborations between Corporates and the traditional Universities:
In this model, the universities with a large and impressive campus tie up with corporates and train their collaborative company employees and those of selected partner companies. In this process, the Universities team up with strong brands of the institution that still counts and makes use of learning material from the various online academies and delivers the course content. During this process, they use a fly-in faculty model from top-notch institutions, which saves them the expense of full-time professors

2. Adopting the transformation of education from a traditional site-bounded paradigm towards a new triplization paradigm:
The goals, theory, content, and practices of education diverge significantly from conventional wisdom, and In the new paradigm of education, the core activities that are creating limitless opportunities for teaching and learning, as well as a new generation of CMI leaders and citizens in both local society and the global village, are the development of students’ contextualized multiple intelligence (CMI) and the processes of globalization, localization, and individualization in education. This paradigm shift adopted by Asian Universities in education is providing innovative ideas and possibilities for reforming education in different parts of the globe to meet the challenges of the future.

3. Adoption of Educational Technology:
Firstly, it defines the paradigm change and presents evidence that it is the only way to improve our education systems. Implementing relevant technologies, Real-time data, innovations like artificial intelligence (AI), and a range of new devices and tools are helping universities to transform the roles and relationships of students, teachers, and parents. Students are getting empowered to learn for themselves in flexible, often collaborative ways, both inside and outside classrooms at their own pace. They can now follow their own interests and be challenged where appropriate. To create fresh challenges and provide the right assistance for each kid to advance, teachers have access to tailored real-time data on how each of their students is doing academically and emotionally. Parents are more certain, specific, and confident about their involvement in their child’s education. The rise of “personalized learning,” where each student receives targeted one-on-one attention from teachers who have access to real-time data on their success and difficulties, is perhaps technology’s most obvious consequence.These advancements have been led by online education, where a number of web-based tools have been developed to evaluate students’ preferences and readiness for various learning modalities. Different multimedia communication systems have been used to benefit both students and teachers. These systems let students choose content in accordance with their interests and preferences while also assisting teachers in developing a greater awareness of their pupils.

4. Moving from a teaching culture to a learning culture with a focus on skill enhancement:
Universities have begun to form a picture of what is expected of learners or what is the ideal learner today. From an educator’s perspective, several learner skills, attributes, and competencies emerge, which are:

    • Active, inquiring, analytical
    • Engaged citizens
    • Equipped with research and inquiry skills
    • Exercise independent critical judgment
    • Co-creators and producers of knowledge
    • Able to function effectively in the real world
    • Able to communicate and cross-language boundaries or cultural boundaries
    • Motivated and equipped to continue learning over a lifetime
    • Active, inquiring, analytical
    • Able to function effectively in the real world
    • Able to communicate and cross-language boundaries or cultural boundaries
    • Motivated and equipped to continue learning over a lifetime
    • Exercise independent critical judgment

To achieve the above, various Asian universities have built continuous engagement structures with the corporates to get insights on constant changing soft and hard skill requirements and have begun Serious leadership engagement with the innovative application of digital technologies, which are helpful in developing the skill-based futuristic economy.

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