How international faculty at UPES help students develop a global outlook
By providing access to the best and most knowledgeable teachers and scholars from across the world through co-teaching, UPES is preparing its students to cultivate a constant openness to new shifts and novel ideas
Preparing students for a set world and an established career path through information delivery does not serve the purpose of education because there IS NO SET WORLD. Education, therefore, should broaden students’ mindset so they can make purposeful choices and provide solutions to the issues of the global society.
This requires a sense of awareness and sensitivity towards the world, which can come when students are exposed to perspectives from different socio-cultural settings. Hence, academic institutions must bring more inclusivity and diversity to the table.
In this direction, UPES has taken several measures such as collaborations with international faculty who bring fascinating insights and a wealth of experience to the university. When teachers from different socio-cultural settings work together, their collaborative intelligence leads to the creation of a new structure of learning.
Dr. Sheetal Khanka, Head, Department of International Affairs and Associate Professor, Organisation Behaviour at UPES, explains why co-teaching is at the heart of inclusive educational practice and how diversity through international teaching staff can provide a unique learning opportunity for students.
Q1: Why are co-teaching interactions beneficial for students?
Diversity in a university provides a platform for students to explore the world beyond the immediate environment. Having an international faculty is an excellent opportunity to experience a subject in a truly global way. The course curriculum and syllabus remain the same, but an international faculty provides a fresh perspective, thus enhancing the students’ exposure.
At UPES, 50 international faculty are co-teaching modules in the School of Computer Science, School of Business, School of Design and School of Law. The international faculty exposure to academics from different parts of the world enrich their classes. Like Dr. Shirley Tang, from University Canada West, holds a PhD in Economics from Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, a Master of Business Management from Lanzhou University (China, 1999) and has participated in EU innovation research program at Hull University (the UK, 2012). She was an academic visitor to UA (University of Alberta) in 2014. Currently, she is co-teaching research methods to the fourth-semester students of BBA (Financial Analysis and Services), UPES.
Q2: How does a student benefit from faculty with industry experience?
Many faculties have industry exposure. Professor Itay Hauptman from INT, for instance, has worked for 20 years in the high-tech industry as a Software Developer and DevOps Engineer. He has worked on projects in the stock market, medicine, image processing, authentication and more. He is teaching Cloud Deployment Models to B.Tech. (Hons.) Computer Science and Engineering (Cloud Computing and Virtualisation Technology) at UPES.
Faculty members bring in their international experience to the classrooms at UPES. The co-teaching interaction is an important step towards our commitment to providing our students with a holistic environment for growth and learning.
Q3: What are the unique factors that these faculties have?
The co-teaching faculty from different parts of the world are accomplished teachers and consultants and are associated with reputed industries. They bring the subject knowledge and expertise in dealing with industry, government, start-ups, and cultural experiences from the UK, Germany, Israel, and Canada virtually to UPES.
Ms. Shona Stark from UE Germany is an art director and designer originally from Melbourne, based in Berlin since 2011. Whether working with an innovative studio or continuing professional and personal collaborations, Shona’s passion for ideas, creativity and honesty in design drives her process and approach.
In 2011, The Age Newspaper Melbourne Magazine named Shona in the ‘Top 100 Most Influential Melbournians’. She is teaching Publication Design at the UPES School of Design.
Uriel Kosayev from INT Israel is a security researcher with over eight years of experience in cybersecurity. He is also a lecturer who has developed courses in the field. Uriel has hands-on experience in malware research, reverse engineering penetration testing, digital forensics, and incident response. He is teaching Data Communication to the UPES School of Engineering students.
Jenny from the University of Law is a qualified solicitor. She studied at LPC at the University of Law’s Chester campus and worked in private practice with an international law firm, specialising in Professional Negligence and Clinical Negligence. She is taking law lectures at the UPES School of Law.
Guy Uziel, a Machine Learning PhD, graduated from the Technion Israel. Guy is currently the Chief Technology Officer in an Israeli legal-tech AI start-up. Before his current role, Guy was a research intern at IBM Research Lab dealing with deep learning models for various NLP tasks. He is teaching Introduction to Machine learning to UPES’ B.Tech. students.
As education transitions from traditional architecture to new frameworks marked by social and technological transformations, multi-context meaning is needed for students to be able to make sense of what they learn in diverse environments. Co-teaching with international faculty helps accomplish that and much more.