A two day Round Table Event on 13th & 14th April 2021 was held by ScooNews, called the “International Educator’s Round Table.” The theme of the said event was International Higher Education and accessibility for all.
Mr. Ravi Santlani, CEO ScooNews spoke about his new venture ‘Sourcescholarships.com’ - a platform where you can avail the best scholarship offers from top 500 global universities. He shared the idea behind sourcescholarships.com along with the need of having affordable education accessible to all.
The keynote speaker for day one Mr. Eric Falt, Director UNESCO India set the tone of the event by giving insights on Global Citizenship Education
Mr. Falt talked about the meaning of Global Citizenship Education. Which according to him, at the heart of it is, tolerance, cultural diversity, acceptance of differences and thus inclusion. It is there to empower learners of all ages by imparting cognitive, social-emotional and behavioural skills. He spoke about a study that was held in 2020 by UNESCO. The research carried out was about the need to access global education and learning outcomes in India. He highlighted, though India has made significant progress in policy and curriculum forming, there are still significant strides to be made to address the remaining gaps and challenges. He concluded that “Through global education, youth and community at large, can be equipped with skills to eradicate harmful stereotypes and foster tolerance, inclusion and respect for all.”
Following Mr. Falt’s speech, the very first discussion held was over a predominant topic, "Schools-Universities partnership for inclusive and accessible higher education."
As the moderator of the discussion was Dr. Arunabh Singh, Director, NWS Ghaziabad. The esteemed speakers were:
Mr. Ajay Singh, Headmaster, PPS, Nabha
Dr. Ashok Pandey, Director, Ahlcon Group of Schools
Manisha Agarwal - Country Head - South Asia Hub, RMIT University
The speakers explored the issues students come across while applying for higher education, abroad. They agreed on how there is misinformation available online and the ability of society to manipulate without having actual knowledge. The speakers then mentioned how their schools have been handling the said issue, amongst their students and how they have been mentoring parents as well since the parents are equally involved in the transition. The persisting point of focus was to provide accurate and helpful information to the students while they decide on their higher education options. And how providing correct information is significant, so the children do not have to wander for counselling services. They concluded with the hope that ‘sourceschorlships.com’ might become such a platform that helps to democratise and bring forth the knowledge required, in an unbiased and customised way.
The post-lunch session began with another blazing topic, "Promoting Global Citizenship Through International Higher Education."
As moderator was Dr. Gunmeet Bindra, Director, DPS Rajpura and as esteemed speakers:
Andrea McLeod-Karim, International Regional Manager, Victoria University of Wellington, NZ
Himmat Singh Dhillon, Headmaster, The Lawrence School, Sanawar
Rashi Rohatgi, Principal, Seedling The World School, Udaipur
Srinivasan Sriram, Principal, The Mann School, New Delhi
This discussion began with Global citizenship and its true meaning. The speakers insisted that true Global Citizenship implies a social responsibility and diverse thinking in a globally connected world. That awareness is the first step, and awareness of all the stakeholders of the education sector is significant to make this happen.
They talked about the important question being, ‘what good will be brought by the university-school collaborations. The speakers deciphered the same, they said, it is the civic motto of the university that makes it provide the best teaching-learning experience. Which will eventually do good for the individual and the society, whether be in the home country or abroad.
The talk came to an end with each speaker giving a final word to the ablaze topic of Global Citizenship. According to them, letting international education grow on the grounds of tradition and empower students as leaders at a young age while exposing them to global concerns is a must. Additionally, peace, justice and strong institutions are required to transform children into excellent global citizens. To top it all, we must remember that Global Citizenship is about inclusive citizenship, whether you return to your own country or settle elsewhere, it benefits all.
The following panel talked about, "International Higher Education: Improved graduate employability."
Moderated by Lt Col A Sekhar, Chief Development Officer, Jagran Education Foundation, UP. The esteemed panellists were:
Harinder Chhabra, Director, The Infinity School
Harriet Howse, Head of International Recruitment & Development, Aberystwyth University, UK
Dr Jagpreet Singh, Headmaster, The Doon School
Kanak Gupta, Director, Seth MR Jaipuria Group of Schools
The discussion began with the key points of higher education and what it means for children to look for in a higher education institution while applying. The speakers insisted that higher education is an integral part of educating the workforce and eventually driving a nation forward. But they also talked about how higher education not necessarily means employability or advancing the career. Rather it means increasing the subject knowledge, core skill and competency to work.
The focus of the discussion convened to what students look for in higher education. Panellists agreed that, while choosing universities for higher education, students look at the whole package from campus experience to placement opportunities. They concurred that the main difference between inland higher education and abroad is that universities abroad look for the overall skill set, that a candidate embodies and not just the subjective knowledge.
To set on a conclusion the panellists drove the discussion to bring an appropriate solution to the table. One of them being, the ability to transfer study credits from institution to institution, which will provide students with a way that allows them to select a set of courses that benefits their higher education goals.
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