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Education 2019-03-06

How to Collaborate and Grow in the Education Business

The past decade has observed the birth of many new fields such as data science, app development, and social media marketing. Read on...

By Senior Sub-editor
How to Collaborate and Grow in the Education Business

In order for the education business to truly thrive, it must incorporate collaborative structures from the ground up. Expecting teachers alone to be held responsible for wide-ranging tasks and roles is not a model that can be effectively scaled. In a similar manner, schools also cannot be expected to be an isolated component in an ever-connected world. The future of education has to be collaborative every step of the way.

The past decade has observed the birth of many new fields such as data science, app development, and social media marketing. The education sector, however, has been slow in adapting to the rapid changes with technological innovations and industry requirements. It continues to be heavily reliant on lectures and exams, which leave the workforce underprepared for the requirements of the job market. In order to add value to the education being offered and to make students better equipped, a more practical and applied approach to education must be adopted. A vital component of making this vision come to reality are collaborations between educational institutions and the private sector.

One manner in which collaborations can be fostered between educational institutions and businesses is via research projects. These typically employ the use of grant applications which entail the contribution expected from the various partners as these tend to vary per grant. These partnerships, however, do not necessarily imply a monetary exchange as that can also be in kind. For example, a business may provide Big Data to an educational institution in order to generate an analysis. This would in turn be a case-study that has practical applications for the business.

In other cases, individuals from different walks of like could come in as guest lecturers, which would provide students insights into their curriculum and impart applicable information from their professional experience. Businesses and educational institutions can engage in mutually beneficial engagements with the effective application of external projects or internships.

However, before any such collaborations and partnerships between educational institutions and businesses can take place, ensuring that certain criteria are met could help things proceed in a frictionless manner. In order to make the most of collaborations, businesses must take into account the educational institutions’ needs and challenges. Having completed the assessment, it can determine accurately which business skill could be leveraged to make up its needs. Before committing to any interaction, both the educational institution and the business must set clear goals and expectations on what they hope to achieve out of the collaboration. Once an agreement has been put in place, a manner in which the impact of the collaboration can be gauged and measured is the key.

With a clear indication of progress, both parties will have a sense of achievement as a result of their collaboration. Finally, a clear line of communication between both parties must be put in place so that it enables changes in plans while avoiding discomfort and ensures a smooth journey forward.

To ensure an unencumbered growth for the education industry down the line, institutions must embrace and begin to make the most of technologies such as analytics, cloud computing, mobility along with social media. Doing so would ensure that students receive easier access to educational content and are provided with a more engaging experience in the process. By making the most of these technologies and collaborating with industry leaders, institutions can provide a level of education that supports the future of work in an ever-evolving landscape.

This article is authored by Karan Shah, Founder & CEO of IIDE, Indian Institute of Digital Education.

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