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Tufts University bets big on Liberal Arts to nurture change agents of the future

PUNJAB NEWS LINE | February 26, 2024 01:33 PM

NEW DELHI: In the era of Industry 4.0 and the digital revolution, it has become increasingly imperative for students to receive a holistic learning experience. This will empower them with the required skills to adapt to the rapidly changing landscape.

Furthermore, with conventional education rapidly becoming insignificant, there is a growing recognition that students need to have the ability to think outside the box and effectively communicate their ideas.

In line with this transformation, Tufts University, a prominent educational institution with over 170 years of history in the US, is betting big on liberal arts education with its undergraduate programme. The Boston-based university recognises that Liberal Arts is essential for every student, irrespective of their major, as it prepares them to interpret the world around them and be better professionals.

With an emphasis on collaboration, research, and quality education, Tufts University is well-positioned to make a significant impact in India and beyond.

According to Sunil Kumar, President of Tufts University, “The knowledge landscape is changing so rapidly that most of the specific knowledge that is delivered, especially in fields like engineering, will be outdated in 20 years’ time. In this regard, Liberal Arts teach you how to learn on your own and how to evolve.”

“Another major benefit of the liberal arts programme is exploration, as students can explore diverse domains before deciding on a major. They can figure out which career path they want to choose at their own pace, and this flexibility is especially helpful for those who may need more clarification about their future career paths,” adds Kumar.

Tufts University is also a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), making it among the top 70 research universities in the US. The university’s liberal arts-oriented undergraduate programme admits about 1600 students a year and 6,000 students overall in other courses, with close to 1200 faculty.

The institution also aims to expand its presence in India by collaborating with Indian universities and the industry to conduct research in several domains. This is especially significant as out of 13 per cent of international students in the university’s undergraduate programme, about 7 per cent of them are Indian.

According to Kumar, “India has a unique opportunity to evolve models of quality education, which the West has been unable to do. The country should provide quality education at scale using technology, and with increasing investment in the education sector, there is ample potential for growth”.

On the challenges front, Kumar opines that India needs distinctive and innovative education delivery models for shaping future leaders.

“One issue that stands out is the lack of diversity among colleges in India. Most colleges adopt identical educational models and deliver similar kinds of education. By incorporating more innovative educational models, colleges can better equip students to navigate the challenges of the modern world”, says Kumar.

The collaboration between Tufts University and Indian Universities will not only promote visionary educational models but will also bridge the gap between academia and industry.

By working together, these institutions can drive meaningful advancements and ensure a win-win proposition.

 

 
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