Why student engagement matters and how to achieve it
To ensure career success for students, educators must promote meaningful learning experiences to keep students engaged and motivated
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’ is perhaps a clichéd and overused statement at this point. Luckily, there are more recent and more credible evidence that mere academics does not guarantee success in the modern economy. While in an old economy, with well-defined roles and responsibilities, excelling at academics was adequate in landing someone a job, most of which were repetitive tasks that required only the ability to follow instructions and stick to the procedures. The new economy has evolved beyond that and requires significant amount of critical thinking, creativity, teamwork, and the ability to take ownership.
It is a common agreement among employment experts, as well as talent development experts that modern education needs a mix of both academics and extracurricular activities. According to Monster dot com, extracurricular activities can be a great addition to a student’s resume. It shows a narrow focus, the ability to commit, and the ability to take initiative. Further, reports from around the world, like this one by Independent claim that ‘employers are looking for students and graduates who have a range of skills, personal qualities and experience, which will help them to be productive in the workplace.’
VUCA World: Today, employers are increasingly hiring for a VUCA world. VUCA stands for Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous. Succeeding in this world requires management experience, communication skills, adaptability, and quick thinking. Ask anyone who has managed a college fest knows, these are some of the basic skills you need to deal with the immense challenges that are thrown your way.
The need for polyglots: Polyglots are individuals who are trained in multiple disciplines and can perform a variety of different functions within the team. Our students who are part of student chapters like the Infinity Space Club or the Fire and Security Association of India are routinely trained in different skillsets that translate to familiarity with the modern workplace.
Immersive educational experiences: As we have seen with the National Education Policy of the Government of India, the old ways of rote-learning are on their way out. Education is changing to include immersive experiences as a critical tool of learning. Currently the best tools we have to ensure an immersive learning experience is the student clubs, sports teams, student chapters, fests, and everything else that defines college life. These experiences are immeasurably rewarding, building strong values and connections that last for life.
The community experience of college: College life has always been defined by communities. It is these communities that add flavour to classes and build strong associations with education. It is no surprise that students are really excited to be part of these events and they propel acquaintances to friends, and help in developing communication skills, social skills, presentation skills, and familiarity with strangers.
At UPES, we take extracurricular activities extremely seriously. We have a wide variety of student groups and student chapters for students to hone their skills and pursue their passions. UPES has seven student clubs and more than 22 student chapters, such as Infinity Aerospace Club, American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Computer Society of India, and more. We also organize cultural events such as Uurja and Wow Wednesday where talented UPES students share their craft with everyone. We also have strong sports teams in every major sport, and are a formidable force in Uttarakhand sports. To find out more about extracurricular activities at UPES, visit https://www.upes.ac.in/student-space/student-engagement.