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What’s in store for academic institutes in 2021 – Times of India

With the experience and training gained in 2020, universities have now developed a better understanding to tackle uncertainties in 2021. Besides devising new modes and methods to impart education, institutes are also planning to reopen in a phased manner for the new academic year.

“Given the infrastructural development and training during 2020, our university is all set for 2021 session. While the teachers are now much more confident and efficient in conducting classes online, students in areas with poor connectivity are longing for a normal life at campus. We plan to open up in a phased manner giving the final year students and the ones in areas with poor connectivity to come back to the campus,” says Jaskiran Arora, associate dean, BML Munjal University.

Amity University also comprehends on conducting hybrid classes this year. The university will hold face to face classes with 50% capacity of classrooms ensuring compliance of social distancing norms. In addition to this, remote mode of classes will continue to take place.

“A continuous review of the situation is being carried out. Comprehensive e-content of all courses has been made available to the students before commencement of classes. Students belonging to the Science and Technology domains and other domains that require physical presence will be provided with virtual labs. For research-based and lab-based courses, physical lab facilities will be available to 50% of students at a time,” says Balvinder Shukla, vice chancellor, Amity University.

IIIT Naya Raipur will conduct the upcoming academic year 2021 virtually. The institute has shifted the courses that require the mandatory physical presence of students to the next semester hoping that the students will then be present at the campus, says Pradeep K.Sinha, vice chancellor and director, IIIT-Naya Raipur.

Sona group of education institutions, Tamil Nadu will involve more project-based work and hands-on learning for the students this year. The exams will be conducted with the help of AI-enabled auto proctored from remote locations, says Chocko Valliappa, vice chairman, Sona group of educational institutions.

Owing to the ongoing pandemic and the consequent economic difficulty, most institutes are not planning to increase the fee structure this year to lighten the pressure on students and parents. Universities are adopting alternative measures to increase revenue sources rather than increasing fees.

“2020 has been a tough year for most of the academic institutes. However, in the current situations, we are not planning to increase the fees as everyone has gone through this situation and we do not want to increase any load on parents and students, says RL Raina, vice chancellor, JK Lakshmipat University, Jaipur.

To generate more revenue, the institutes are looking at starting some more courses for short term and long-term duration which can be delivered online and offline, he adds.

“We will be sensitive to the financial burden that individuals are facing in the country due to the pandemic and not increase the fees this year,” says Chocko Valliappa.

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