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The Shifting Paradigm of Higher Education

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The paradigm shift is a revolutionary change in the core concepts, practices, discipline or field, and has been playing a vital role in higher education

By Manohar Lal, HOD, Management, ITM Vocational University & Reshma Wadhwani, Assistant Professor, Management, ITM Vocational University

In the 21st century, higher education system has become the most powerful tool to build a knowledge based society and for this the shifting paradigm for higher education has become most popular topic of discussion among the universities. The paradigm shift is a revolutionary change in the core concepts, practices, discipline or field. It can occur at any level of education. Paradigm shift in higher education has played vital role, as digitization has moved everyone from scarcity of information to abundant information.

Globalisation and internationalization of higher education has resulted in new access and delivery models that has increased choice and mobility of students. This concept is now more broadly used to describe fundamental changes in any domain or field. When paradigm shift occur the previously dominated worldview is replaced by new worldview. It changes everyone in the domain or field to act and think in new ways. Paradigm shift can be the result of new knowledge, problem or fundamental changes in society.

In higher education nowadays, more emphasis is given to practical learning along with theoretical learning, as it allows the students to understand the concepts very clearly and makes them learn about the society and the market trend. It also lessens the burden on students as everything now is digitalized and also communicated to them in the same way. But, as paradigm shift differs from country to country due to political regimes, it is big task for leaders, faculties to rethink on the same process to make it more valuable. However, higher level education cannot be detached from lower level of education, so institutional transformation is also important through different forms, as students come from different culture, different mindset, different knowledge and skills etc. and sometimes it becomes difficult for them to transform students. Paradigm shift should give opportunity for improvisation to students, which make them encaged within the system instead of liberated.

More or less higher education has now become student centered than teacher centered, as now, not only teachers or parents are concerned about the career of the students, even the students themselves are also concerned about it as they are looking towards the market need. Eventually, the bond between students and teachers has also increased as they not only act as teachers but also as their guide, philosopher or mentor to them. Nowadays, teaching has become a two way learning process where in teachers also learn from students, not just the other way round.

In today’s time, virtual learning has changed the method of educating the students, even some courses are available for free or with minimal fees. The concept of Self-study also will be evolved, where in students sitting in their home with the help of tutorials can learn the new process or methods.

Whether we accept it or not, higher education students are affected by the job market. University graduates are struggling in the market for jobs or settling for low paying jobs, just to make ends meet, but still Universities continue to produce graduates by the tens of thousands every year with bachelor degree that are of little value. This paradigm is unjustifiable. When students with their graduation degree cannot find job, this becomes a yardstick through which higher education will be measured. As the job market has shifted for new college graduates, the paradigm has shifted for higher education.

Thus, the changes in higher education system are challenging for the faculties, leaders or researches to rethink on the process, nature and scope of it and how it should be provided to students which can bring positive and effective change in higher education.

Blurb: In higher education nowadays, more emphasis is given to practical learning along with theoretical learning.

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