THE India Universities Forum was held on 22-23 February 2022, where key voices from Indian higher education and influential international speakers discussed positive pathways to recover from the disruption of COVID-19. 40 top world university leaders from India and abroad spoke during the event.
Two days of discussions focused on these key questions:
- Where should university leaders focus their attention?
- What will be on the top of policymakers’ agenda?
- Where do resources need to be directed?
- How can rankings provide a steer for a university trajectory?
The main agenda themes of the forum were:
- Will Indian research universities seize the day?
- Could the liberal arts model revolutionise Indian higher education?
- Can virtual transnational exchange replace study abroad?
- Are universities listening to students?
- Embedding robust QA in online teaching
- How to improve gender equality in Indian higher education
- Exclusive THE Impact Rankings masterclass
Prof. Raghu Raman, Dean-School of Business, Amrita University, and Prof. Bhavani Rao, Dean, School of Social and Behavioural Sciences and UNESCO Chair for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, spoke in the session on “Changing practice, changing perceptions: How to improve gender equality in Indian higher education” which was moderated by Ms Pola Lem, Asia Editor, THE. Both the speakers presented the strategic approach Amrita has taken, the challenges, and how they are tackled. They also highlighted what policy steps other Indian higher education leaders can make to improve their impact concerning SDG 5.
Improving gender equity is a key challenge for leaders and policymakers worldwide and is recognised as a UN Sustainable Development Goal. In higher education, THE’s global Impact Rankings analyse the performance of universities globally, and Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham excels in THE’s methodologies in this area.
Prof. Raghu Raman began his talk by discussing Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham University’s goals and vision and then discussed Amrita’s recent performance in THE impact rankings 2021.
Prof. Raghu Raman’s presentation focused on SDG5 and the many measures taken by the Sustainable Development Report, NIRF, and NAAC to achieve it. He also gave an overall picture of SDG 5 by HEIs. Then presented data points on gender equality compared to the rest of the globe. India showed how Amrita is outstanding compared to other universities in the case of women diversity measures.
Prof. Bhavani’s presentation focused on the framework for university engagement in SDG 5 and emphasised Amrita‘s strategic approach to SDG 5. Shared information on the university’s overall male to female ratio then continued with the university’s achievements in gender equality. Then she presented the AWESOME framework initiative and explained how it works. She concluded her presentation after making specific points on the women leaders of the university and CWEGE measures taken by the university.
Ms Pola Lem asked at the end of the discussion how other colleges will be able to emulate Amrita’s accomplishment in SDG 5. Prof. Bhavani Rao first responded that universities’ involvement in grass-roots concerns could bring about change, followed by Prof. Raghu Raman, who shared his thoughts on how bringing change to the university and its surroundings will affect the university’s SDG 5 measures.