In recent years, humanities and social science disciplines in India and indeed in the world have been witnessing changes in the way these are being offered to students. The trends suggest that more and more trust is being assigned to interdisciplinary approaches, at least by the good universities. Thus, digitech is not only tech but pushes the boundaries of social science and humanities. How much is too much is an oft heard refrain when talking of technology and therefore the social considerations become critical. Add to this global perspectives, biotech, STEM, environment, climate change, capitalism and you have a virtual ‘futures’ landscape of education. In this background, I believe applied research, skill development, and social impacts will be at the forefront. Colleges will and indeed are striving to equip students with theoretical and practical skills, a comprehensive and strong education so they can thrive in a complex and uncertain environment.
Challenges abound in this milieu, such as limited job openings, funding constraints, the persistent industry-academia disconnect, and heterogeneity of the student community. Don’t get me wrong, diversity is a strength and in India diversity often gets handed to you on a platter, but one needs to ensure integration in learning outcomes that can be hard. Amidst these paradoxes, Shiv Nadar Institution of Eminence (IoE) or Shiv Nadar University, has emerged as a trusted institution that is attempting to bridge the gaps through its interdisciplinary curriculum, industry collaboration, generous scholarships, integration of technology, embracing diversity head on and commitment to community development.
Embracing the idea that every qualifying and keen student should have equal educational opportunities regardless of financial limitations, the Shiv Nadar IoE strongly believes in providing generous scholarships tailored to the unique requirements of deserving and exceptional students. These scholarships range from full coverage to partial support, ensuring that financial constraints do not hinder students’ access to education. Additionally, the institution offers sports scholarships and fully funded doctoral programs, creating an environment where students can pursue their academic and research aspirations without being impeded by financial obstacles. Moreover, the institution actively seeks external funding to support the advancement of postdoctoral researchers, thereby expanding avenues for academic development and growth.
Enhancing Academic Training
The Shiv Nadar IoE shapes a complete education experience in which scholars, experts, Nobel laureates among others engage to broaden students’ perspectives. Through lectures, seminars, and workshops, these distinguished guests share their expertise across disciplines. The presence of noted and recognised scholars adds invaluable insights and provides students with first-hand account of what is ground breaking research. Professionals from government and industry provide practical perspectives, thus enabling students make informed decisions about their academic and career paths. The entire involvement is to foster critical thinking, intellectual curiosity, and personal growth, preparing students to tackle global challenges and make a positive impact in their chosen fields. “Collaborating with government bodies, think tanks, foundations, and corporate organizations, our Career Development Center provides internships and placements, ensuring students are well-prepared for their future endeavors”, mentions Rajat Kathuria, Dean & Professor of Shiv Nadar IoE.
The University actively seeks collaborations and partnerships to enhance students’ educational journey. A collaboration with the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London that is being negotiated exemplifies this commitment. The proposed program emphasizes intellectual rigor, global experience, diverse course offerings, research opportunities and access to rare expertise. The collaboration also seeks to promote international exchange and cultural immersion, fostering intercultural experience and a global outlook. Indeed, this is the template for all partnerships’- the University prioritizes rigor, holistic education, diverse experiences to prepare students to tackle global challenges and thrive in various professional environments.
”With a focus on inspiring positive change, Shiv Nadar Institution shapes responsible leaders who lead with interdisciplinary approaches & global perspectives”
The preceding demonstrates how Shiv Nadar IoE values collaborations and partnerships, whether local or global reflecting its commitment to open, interdisciplinary learning. Knowledge should have no boundaries, either in the mind or between nation states. Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) have been inked with eminent institutions such as Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT), Heidelberg University, University of California at Berkeley, South Asia Art initiative, University of Michigan at East-Lansing, CNCSI, Durham, Mondragon University, Spain, National Quemoy University, Taiwan, Penn Museum, University of Pennsylvania, University of Pompeu Fabra, Spain, University of Warwick, University of Wisconsin Madison, to name some.
With a forward-looking approach, the Shiv Nadar IoE aims to expand its global presence while augmenting existing programs. The University is dedicated to providing high-quality education that addresses both national and international concerns, focusing on, but not limited to, vital areas such as the environment, technology, sustainability, climate change, artificial intelligence ethics, cognition and the international economic and geopolitical landscape. To achieve this, the institution is crafting a future relevant curriculum that equips students to navigate the challenges and opportunities of tomorrow. The Shiv Nadar IoE empowers students to become responsible leaders through interdisciplinary approaches, global perspectives, and addressing societal issues. “Through scholarships and collaborations, we ensure equitable access to education that enriches and transforms, while our commitment to global challenges inspires positive change. Visit us to witness our efforts in shaping a better world”, concludes Rajat.