As the need for quality human resources becomes a growing concern, universities are stepping up by providing students with the skillset they need to be job-ready. Today, merely having a degree doesn’t help students prepare for the corporate world. So, universities are ensuring that they provide students with opportunities to help hone their skills and grow as professionals. With the core principles of transcending the Indian education system via holistic development, JK Lakshmipat University is on a mission to become one of the leading universities in India to encourage analytical skills, critical experimentation, and robust research pedagogy that is deeply rooted in Interdisciplinary learning, which will be beneficial for the overall development of students.
Established in 2011, JKLU has the vision to cultivate innovation and make academia in sync with the industry dynamics. “We not only want our students to be job-ready, but also equip them with the necessary life skills to be future-ready for any obstacle and opportunity,” says Dr Dheeraj Sanghi, Vice-Chancellor, JK Lakshmipat University. JKLU offers a buffet of opportunities to students from various parts of India and abroad. The Technology Centre for Engineering students has 54 labs to access the best tools for their projects and research with a high software system. “Additionally, our robust infrastructure also includes Makespace and Start-Up Studio to allow students to carry out their own experimentation and bring ideas to a tactile prototype stage so they can be tried and tested. Besides this, students can also enjoy the holistic campus life by availing facilities of the gym, cafeteria, health centre, and sports facilities for recreational purposes,” he explains.
At JKLU, the management is constantly trying to make changes in the curriculum to best suit the needs of the industry. By meeting with industry experts and asking them what trends and significant requirements will be there in the next 2-3 years, the university tries to predict the industry requirements for students when they graduate.” Although the current trends are important too, it is better to know what the future holds to help students scale up their skills to meet industry expectations. Subsequently, we create elective courses for those interested in those areas and encourage students to participate,” explains Dr Dheeraj. For example, a few years ago, a team of industry experts at JKLU predicted that more people would access websites on mobile phones than on laptops or computers. Thus, JKLU introduced a course for web developers to create mobile web versions for websites. “We get numerous guest lecturers and visiting faculty who bring first-hand experience from their respective fields to inspire students. Of late, we are working towards a course on Robotics and another on cybersecurity. We are also planning to have courses related to integrated communication,” adds Dr Dheeraj.
JKLU has Atal Incubation Cell and the Institute Innovation Council, bringing experts to talk to students about innovation. They bring people from various industries to interact with students. Many students have startup ideas but have a notion that startups are synonymous with tech startups. But, at JKLU, students try to break away from that. “There is a pressure to become a unicorn company, but our innovation cells encourage students however small their venture,” informs Dr Dheeraj.
JKLU believes that a student’s life during study is the most critical aspect of education. Most universities depend on marketing and advertising to make their institute known. But, JKLU focuses more on student experiences. There are 3 components that they encourage students to participate in, namely student clubs that deal with culture, technical societies and sports. Student clubs cater to the artistic side of students, with clubs focused on drama, music, art, languages, etc. The university also encourages students to open new clubs during their courses.
There are a lot of competitions that are organised for students to share their talent. Similarly, the Technical societies deal with robotics, IoT, building software, hacking and the like. They conduct hackathons and other tech-related events to keep students creative and engaged. Sports clubs are available for students interested in athletics and other tournaments. “We have facilities for football, volleyball, tennis, table tennis, chess, basketball, cricket and much more on campus. We encourage students to participate in all these competitions and activities during their educational journey,” shares Dr Dheeraj.
In the ever-growing competitive market, it is an impetus for students to acquire technical abilities and soft skills to thrive in their respective industries. Hence, it has become increasingly essential to mould the academic curriculum in such a way that it is in sync with the current market trends and allows the holistic development of the students. This is the primary reason why JKLU has collaborated with some of the industry giants such as ISRO, Texas Instruments Innovation Centre, Moody’s Analytics, Microsoft IT Academy, and Robotic Process Automation, to name a few. “Our collaborations provide students with limitless opportunities to put their theoretical knowledge into real-life practice and gain valuable industry experience very early in life,” states Dr Dheeraj.
Almost 98% of the students at JKLU receive placements at the beginning of their 4th year. Last year the university achieved 100% placement for B.Tech students with a 100% increase in job offers and a 120% increase in average salary. “These statistics are a proud moment for us as some of the students have got placement in top positions in prestigious companies such as Airtel, Swiggy, HCL, Infosys, Amazon, HP, etc.,” says Dr Dheeraj.
JKLU’s prestigious collaborations include the University of Florida, University of Birmingham, St. Cloud State University, Minnesota, Edinburgh Napier University, Szechenyi Istvan University, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, and the University of South Carolina. The university’s renowned industry connections merged with global academic collaborations provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the limitless branches of opportunities available to them. “Our annual foreign semester exchange programs motivate students to gain international experience, gain deeper insights into the market system, and develop their network, which essentially becomes crucial for them in the long run,” says Dr Dheeraj.
“We have distinctive scholarship opportunities available which involve a thorough examination of the candidate’s academic merit, exceptional extracurricular achievements, financial needs, and several other criteria to meet the scholarship needs,” Dr Dheeraj explains. JKLU offers scholarships at 4 distinct levels, including a 100% scholarship and zero hostel waiver fee for exceptional students. At JKLU, the management believes that nothing should stop meritorious students from pursuing their dreams. Based on this principle, the university has developed a holistic scholarship procedure that attracts international and Indian students to pursue their academic life with ease at JKLU.
JKLU prides itself in the distinguished faculty that makes JKLU and leading institute. JKLU has a very elaborate procedure when selecting faculty members. It can take almost a month from submitting an application to finally making an offer for any faculty. Most faculty have PhDs from reputed universities in the country and abroad. This helps them open doors for students and gives them exposure to quality education different from most universities. “One major difference with our faculty is that we encourage project-based learning, where faculty are expected to meet students frequently as they work on their final project submission. So, instead of a once-in-3-month meeting, faculty are more hands-on and guide students to perfection. The faculty members are confident in guiding students in doing quality work,” shares Dr Dheeraj.
The Road Ahead
After an internal discussion, JKLU realised that there is a lot of good quality education online. To some, this could be competition, but the university saw it as an opportunity and decided to integrate some of them into its curriculum. “In a world where one need not have a degree, but just do these short courses online, we realised that we need to join forces to get the best of both worlds. Now, we have online electives where the course is online, but the evaluation is done by our faculty members,” explains Dr Dheeraj. There is a fear that the number of students enrolling on universities may decrease in the next ten years. But, JKLU is conscious of the future. So, the university has started planning short-term courses for people in the industry who don’t have time for a 2-year course.
The immediate plan for JKLU is to expand the number of students and faculty. “We are growing slowly and expect to have more sections with this progressive increase. We also want to introduce new programmes in data science and in maths and computing,” shares Dr Dheeraj. “As they have overlapping subjects and topics. We feel that we can have similar faculty and resources to make it a reality soon,” he adds. JKLU also plans to improve the Postgraduate programmes, increase enrolment, give students the flexibility of taking online courses, and encourage faculty to create content of their own that will be beneficial for students.
For More Info: https://www.jklu.edu.in/