How young learners are imbibing T-shaped skills at UPES
UPES School for Life seeks to provide a broad-based learning experience for all students enrolled in the various programmes across its seven schools
The education system and job market are changing rapidly. Till a few years ago, people with a good academic record and some work experience were all that recruiters cared about. But now, in the 21st-century, employers demand a range of soft skills, besides domain expertise. Therefore, the onus lies on academic institutions to impart these skills to them and prepare them for an ever-changing future.
Agility, adaptability, collaboration, creativity, leadership and communication skills, problem-solvingand critical thinking are skills that students need to possess to succeed in the future. The university curriculum should incorporate strategies that require higher-level thinking skills such as group discussions, prediction and analysis. With the use of critical thinking strategies, students develop skills such as reasoning, questioning and investigating, observing, and describing, comparing and connecting, finding complexity, and exploring viewpoints. The knowledge, attitude and skills students acquire in their college years serve as the foundation for future success in their career and prepare them to be effective global citizens.
In order to meet the demands of the global workforce and enable students to lead fulfilling lives, UPES School for Life seeks to provide a broad-based learning experience for all students enrolled in the various programmes across its seven schools. Students can opt for these courses according to their interests. Life Skill courses such as Creativity, Critical Thinking, Design Thinking, Persuasive Presence, Living Conversations, Learning How to Learn, Working with Data, and Personal Branding have been introduced to add more value to the areas of students’ development.
Some of the Signature courses students can pick from are Ethical Leadership in the 21st Century, Environment and Sustainability, Start your Start-Up, Technologies of the Future, and Finding Your Purpose in Life.
Says Alpana Dass from UPES School of Computer Science, “Long-term success is one of the most important goals of college education. UPES School for Life helped me acquire soft skills that will help me succeed in the college classroom as well as thrive in the workplace. I was initially not inclined towards non-domain courses, but it was during these interesting courses such as Living Conversations and Learning How to Learn that I saw a change in my perspective towards life and even about myself.”
Komal Solanki from UPES School of Health Sciences has a similar experience to share. “Life skills play an important role in a successful career as well as in social interactions. These skills are highly sought after by employers recruiting fresh graduates. UPES School for Life shapes students as a potter would mould clay. As a student, I feel pushed to pick up new competencies such as teamwork and cooperation, interpersonal communication, and time management skills. I am looking forward to creating an impact through the education and lifelong learning I received at UPES,” she says.
Krishi Bhanushali from UPES School of Design says, “The school imparted effective communication skills and helped me develop an analytical outlook and empathy towards people. The interaction-based pedagogy made me realize that questioning is also a tool for learning. Soft skills such as active listening, presenting ideas, and communicating with peers are extremely important in the modern workplace. I am sure I shall be able to put these skills to use in the near future.”
Talking about the courses offered, Vrinda Bhatnagar from UPES School of Business, says, “I learned to apply the concepts, strategies, and techniques in my day-to-day life and could see a drastic change in my personality. The creative instruction style, fun-based learning, and well-thought-out assessment rubrics made these programmes credible and interesting. These skills will help me adapt to the difficulties of a changing environment.”