The pros and cons of online education have been a topic of discussion for many years now. The truth is that the pros of online education hardly came out of the boardrooms to be implemented in classrooms. Due to the innate conservatism of our universities, colleges and policymakers, the scope for changes has always been a second priority. Now, when we are all being disrupted by the pandemic, the higher education sector has been forced to change more than any. However, this shift to what is now commonly known as ‘online learning,’ while very exciting, cannot replace the campus experience that many students crave.
Accessibility, inclusion, and engagement are the biggest concerns in India, as most students come from remote places. A year of remote learning has proven that solely hosting lectures as online meetings leave some students behind and keep many yearning for the rich campus experiences that fostered learning in and out of the classroom. Many faculty members reported a drop in engagement as students struggled to stay focused. Moreover, teachers are concerned about their ability to deliver engaging, high-value learning experiences, as they have been taught to teach traditionally. As we enter into an era of hybrid learning, we need to see educators and institutions embracing changes without compromising the fundamentals of teaching and learning.
In this issue, we have identified a handful of colleges across the country that have performed well during this challenging time. We have recognized them as ‘College of the Year – 2021’ and featured their stories to inspire others to take some bold steps to benefit higher education aspirants. On the cover, we feature Jagran Lakecity Business School, which aims to produce socially and ethically conscious managers, entrepreneurs, and leaders.