Most governments around the world have temporarily closed educational institutions to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. These nationwide closures are impacting over 91% of the world’s student population. During these unprecedented times, technology has come to aid education at all levels.
These are exceptional times, with uncertainty looming in every part of the world. Everyone is directly or indirectly affected by the pandemic and is hoping for things to get back to normal soon. At such a time, students who are graduating or looking for admissions in higher educational institutions are worried. Their parents, too, are anxious about their child’s future. In this context, UPES is taking a number of steps to ensure that #learning never stops for its students. Since March 15, 2020, the university has been providing online classes via Blackboard Collaborate, a learning platform that the institution had invested in, many years back. Their 550+ faculty members have also been completely trained to deal with the situation. They are conducting more than 500 online sessions each day by the faculty, so that there is less clogging towards the end of the semester before the term-end examinations.
UPES will also provide its students with additional support such as refresher classes, remedial coaching, workshops and lab sessions, once the situation is under control and the students are back on the campus. UPES did not stop here. It has continued its efforts to bridge the academia-industry gap even during this time with online Masterclasses being conducted by the Industry experts.The library staff has been sharing several free online resources, including online journals, databases and e-learning platforms like SWAYAM and NPTEL, to ensure continuous learning.UPES’ collaboration with Coursera has given its students access to more than 3900 global courses.
Regular mentoring of students through interactive emails from the authorities and the Deans of their different schools are being sent so that the students get all the required information and remain calm and stress-free. The university is also planning extra-curricular activities for engagement through various chapters and clubs.The pandemic may have caused economic instability but UPES’ resolve to provide placement support stays strong. Their Career Services team will support the students with placement assistance for the next 5 years even after they graduate, thus securing their present as well as their future.
Universities and students have together defined a new normal with their positive spirits, hard work and persistence. The current situation has inadvertently given a push to a new kind of learning – using physical classroom experiences combined with online education. The advances in learning that were expected, say five years from now, might just happen tomorrow. The change is now upon us. If the academic institutions prepare their students, this could open a world of new opportunities they never even knew existed.