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Educating GenZ

               By Venguswamy Ramaswamy, Global Head of TCS iON, a Tata Consultancy
               Services unit focused on education

               In any sector, change and                        learning has grown steadily over the
               transformation are driven by customer            last five years. From around 1.8 million
               expectations. The education sector is no         students enrolled for distance learning
               different, with the customer being the           bachelor degrees in arts, commerce and
               student expecting a service.                     science in 2011-12, the number has

               In the education sector, the customer            grown to around 2.3 million in 2015-16.
               profile has changed dramatically. The            As the customer has changed, so has the
               student entering the portals of academe          education sector. In recent years, the
               today – be it any university in India – is       education landscape has been
               very different from a student of even            disrupted with the entry of massive
               five years ago. Today’s young students           open online courses (MOOCs) that are
               are digital natives, with most of them           flourishing today. MOOCs offer a mix of
               living life at the pace of the internet and      free and paid-for content and are
               accustomed to instant data at their              increasingly popular. Some of the
               fingertips via search engines like               biggest MOOCs already have thousands
               Google. They are able to participate in          of courses and millions of users
               collaborative studies via online forms           enrolled in them. One of the largest
               or even Whatsapp group chats.                    MOOCs has seen its Indian enrollment
                                                                grow significantly with Indians
               This generation spends maximum time
               exposed to screens – TV, tablets,                students now the second largest
               smartphones. They consume dynamic                contingent. The reason for the
               content -- YouTube videos, animations,           popularity is not difficult to find. Online
               presentations. They are more engaged             courses offer a more affordable route to
               with multimedia than with textbooks              education. Georgia Tech’s online
               and could expect the same kind of                master’s program in computer science
               interactive teaching methodologies               costs just $6,600 – this is a fraction of
               from their college classrooms.                   what a campus-based course would
                                                                otherwise cost , making MOOCs far
               The freedom of the internet means that           more affordable for students.
               learning can be unstructured. This
               generation is driven by ‘informed                In the midst of this shifting landscape,
               curiosity’ and are happy to source               how will Indian universities meet the
               content and knowledge on topics                  changing expectations of GenZ? When
               outside of their curriculum.                     this tech-savvy generation sets foot in
                                                                colleges, they expect dynamic content,
               Moreover, Indian students already have           interactive teaching methodologies.
               a comfort level with non-classroom               They also expect connected campuses,
               based learning ie distance and online            instant services such as mail or text
               education. Enrolment in distance
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