The Covid-19 crisis brought into sharp focus the tech-readiness of colleges and universities. Those that were able to use technology well to keep going and rethink their instruction model for the future by fast-tracking digital transformation, were the ones that were able to better absorb the shock and stay ahead of their competition.
Continuing education through online instruction models was top priority for UPES when the Covid-19 pandemic struck. The institution rose to the challenge, leveraged robust digital teaching technologies such as ‘Blackboard’ and fortified competencies of its 550+ faculty members for quality online learning practices.
Final exams conducted on schedule
First and foremost, UPES ensured that there was no compromise on the academic rigour. For final year students, it was important that their scheduled examinations be completed on time, they get their degrees and move ahead with their career opportunities. Nearly 85 percent students successfully appeared for their final exams online and the remaining students will also be taking the online exams in the last week of July.
Says Akshay Tyagi, 4th year student of Mobile Computing, “I want to thank the university for giving us the opportunity to appear for online exams. It was convenient and totally hassle-free. Just goes to show how forward-thinking and progressive an institution it is, standing by the students in the hour of need.”
Appends Kumar Shivansh, a final-year student of BBA Digital Marketing, “These are difficult times, but even in this extreme situation, the university has been going all out to ensure that we get our degrees on time and start our professional journey without any academic backlog. I’m really grateful for the concern they have shown in this crisis.”
Placements and Internships
At a time when most of the universities of the country are finding it difficult to safeguard students’ placements and summer internships, UPES has weathered the blow and the Career Services Team has secured about 2400 online internships for students. Due to the lockdown and social distancing norms, the internships this time are a mix of virtual and on-field modes of working. Students will be working under the guidance of industry mentors and will be supervised by the internal faculty as well. As far as the placements are concerned, about 88% of the final year students have already been placed at reputed organizations, while the online interviews are still on for the remaining students. The placement record stands at an impressive 100% for School of Design, 99% for School of Computer Science and Rs.44lakhs p.a. as the highest package till date.
Optimised online learning
Today, UPES has over 11,000 students attending online classes and the faculty is conducting more than 500 online sessions every day. In addition to this, UPES has partnered with Coursera to offer more than 3900 free global courses to its students.
The university has been continually enriching its e-library resources over the years. These resources proved to be extremely beneficial for the students during the pandemic as it enabled them to continue reading and referencing for the online examinations.
Efforts to bridge the academia-industry gap continue unabated with online masterclasses by industry experts. The university has conducted more than 150 masterclasses so far, with leading experts from various domains, notable among whom are Padma Bhushan Dr. Jagdish N. Sheth, Professor of Marketing, Emory University, USA; Mr. Roger Hunter, Program Manager, NASA; Mr. Hari Ramasubramanian, IBM Innovation Centre for Education; Padma Shri A.S. Kiran Kumar, Ex-Chairman, ISRO, Ex-Secretary, Dept. of Space, Member, Space Commission; Dr. Hsing-Pang Hsieh, Research Fellow/Deputy Director Biomedical Translation Research Center (BioTReC) Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan; Dr. Lily Hui-Ching Wang, Associate Professor, Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology & Department of Medical Science National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan; Mr. Pradyumna Vyas, Senior Advisor, Design & Innovation, CII, Board of Director, World Design Organization, Former Director, National Institute of Design; Mr. Stefan Bordignon, Alias Designer, Bugatti; Ms. Poonam Verma, Partner, Jyoti Sagar & Associates; Mr. Sidharth Luthra, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India; and Dr. Anirudh Rajput, Member, UN International Law Commission.
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