Interview

Social Media Can play a Significant Role in Education System, Raj Mruthyunjayappa, Campus Management

Campus Management Corp a leading provider of enterprise software, solutions and services for higher education institutions. Its next generation suite, CampusNexus®, includes enterprise-wide Student, CRM, and Finance, HR & Payroll solutions. Raj Mruthyunjayappa, Head of Asia-Pacific, Europe, Middle East and Africa divisions, Campus Management in a candid chat shares insights on its solution driving the government’s (NSDC) skilling programmes and how the company is helping Indian educational institution manage their most mission-critical transactions, dynamic relationships, and the complexities of learning, finance, research and regulation.raj-mruthyunjayappa

  1. How is Campus management planning to add value of IT to the Indian education system?

India’s GER is around 19 percent at the moment, 6 % below the world average and at least 50 % lesser than countries such as Australia and the United States of America. GER stands for Gross Enrolment Ratio, or the percentage of students enrolling into higher education institutes each year post high school. The government has a vision to increase this to 30 percent by the year 2020.India has the largest population of teens with close to 100 million in number between the ages of 17 to 19. But each year only 19 % students enrol into higher education institutes which translates to 20 million.That leaves a whopping 81 % or 80 million in number who do not have the opportunity to study even if they wanted to.  So effectively only 3.5 million graduates join the workforce each year among the 20 million.

There is a massive gap that is created due to the difference in the number of schools and higher education institutes that really needs to be bridged. There is either a lack of seats to accommodate the rest or seats are available in colleges which are less reputed and not known for their academic excellence.

To address this, Indian education needs to focus on Quality which can scale, research which can be commercialized, access to institution by equality (location, gender and social). Technology can be the bridge to achieve these. Campus Management brings all of these together in a single technology platform.

Today, campuses need to be more integrated, student friendly and responsive than ever before. But to evolve into a truly agile campus that is as close to students as it is to every constituent in the ecosystem, campuses need to look beyond traditional methods. Blended education such as online, at campus and industry internship based are very important to achieve outcomes.

Campus Management has success in driving transformation across several institutions globally. Having partnered more than 2,000 campuses in over 19 countries to transform academic delivery, student success and operational efficiency.

Our goal is to provide institutions with the technology that puts them ahead of the curve when it comes to achieving growth, staying connected with students and operating efficiently. It also makes it easy for institutions to fast track their accreditation and growth aspirations.

  1. What support do you plan for the government’s skill development initiative?

We rolled out our solution for NSDC (National Skill Development Corporation) that puts the citizen at the centre of all skill development and management initiatives while improving decision making and information management at various levels.

The strategy is to centralize and monitor all skilling programs across ministries and agencies. Our solution makes citizen services accessible over the Internet, through mobile phones, kiosks, call centres as well as through personal computers.

There are around 7500 skilling centres that are registered with NSDC and close to 10 million users. They actually work with the centre to get course content, at the backend the skilling is done and the candidate data is uploaded.

Based on the assessment completion the money flows into the account. The whole process is carried out through our platform. The solution has brought in citizen centricity in service delivery and transparency and accountability in governance.

We are gearing up to the 2.0 initiative of NSDC that will engage around 150 million people across 34 industry sectors.

  1. Given that digital is the biggest platform today, do you have any solutions for education though a digital engagement?

Over 50% of smart phone users are in the age group 18 to 28. This is massive if you think of the   220 Million smart phone users we currently have in India. With access of over 100 million base and growing, distributing knowledge across digital platform to this age group becomes critical.

Campus Management digital platform bring together a holistic approach to engaging students and young professionals. Institutions can leverage Campus Management platform to enable their students in content distribution, provide blended education, connect this with potential employers and also empower them with information that can help them as young professionals.

  1. How, in your opinion, will campus management solutions add value to education in a country where rural areas have such a high rate of dropouts?

India’s improved education system is often cited as one of the main contributors to its economic development. Needless to say an inclusive growth across both rural and urban India is the need of the hour. With increased Internet penetration, technology can bridge the gap across areas of student and faculty collaboration, increase student engagement by deploying new tools for blended education, multi campus management, streamline enrollment efficiencies based on individual need and send out early warning signals on student drop-out.

  1. How can social media help in bettering education in India?

Social media can play a significant role in education and help students connect with the institution. It can be leveraged in a great way to engage students and student-centered activities across campus. Social media can also play a key role in admissions. Educational institutions can also look at student’s social media presence and communicate with them to discuss academic / social issues, seek student opinions and so on.

With Campus Management, you can mobilize your entire campus and empower students, faculty, and staff through a single, user-friendly, and secure mobile platform. The solution integrates CampusNexus products as well as your choice of third-party applications and makes them easily accessible through your constituents’ preferred devices. You can use Social media profiles to scan contacts and expand understanding of prospect and student sentiments, influences, and needs. Facebook®, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn and other social media content can be shared from the application leveraging the power to Engage, Enable and Empower all constituents.

  1. What is the single biggest challenge you see for technology adoption in the education sector in the country?

The reasons are the same as seen across any industry. Cost and willingness to change. Today’s teaching methods and delivery needs to align with student consumption preferences. The traditional black board teaching has slowly begun to give way to a more collaborative, technology driven knowledge system. So far the Indian education system and institutions have been relying on traditional methods of faculty – student – department interaction, however as technology and automation becomes pervasive in society, it is increasingly becoming an integral part of present education system.

For technology to succeed and play a pivotal role, institutions need to look beyond the present and invest for the future.

  1. In terms of infrastructure, do you think the government can do anything for aiding this adoption?

Government’s initiatives like Digital India and Make in India are very encouraging in this direction and such leadership and resourcefulness is helping institutions accept and deploy automation to increase efficiency, ensure greater transparency and reduce costs.  With a vision for a better future that includes both equity and inclusion across higher, vocational education and skill it looks promising.

Government can mandate the use of technology platform as one of the key parameters to scale up institutions. With the right technology infrastructure, campuses can bring in more focus on quality and provide better outcomes. This means more resources and bandwidth can be freed for improving academic experience, delivery mechanisms, monitoring and measuring progress and in regulatory compliance. This strengthens the entire academic eco-system and lends greater flexibility for universities to innovate across the board.

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