XB Networking and Academic collaborations

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The challenges of higher education in India today demand a significant shift in strategy for institutions around the idea of collaboration and the development of much deeper partnerships than higher education has ever seen before. We found that colleges have emerged from the previous era in different strategic positions. Collaboration in this new era involves colleges and universities coming together as seemingly one institution to change their future direction. National /Regional level Programs are arranged for the effective implementation of the academic collaboration.

The link provided in the website under Networking and Collaborations facilitate to express the areas of interest and categories for collaborations among Xavier Board institutions. The areas of networking / specialisations of the member colleges are given as faculty development programme, student development program, extension services, access to library, research, consultancy, curriculum development, sharing e-content, joint sports events, entrepreneurial development, collaborations for Seminars and Conferences etc. This will create a spirit of good will among the XB member institutions in sharing of resources – academic –  infrastructural – technological-other e-resources. The unity and cooperation among the management, faculty and the students will enhance mutual enrichment and growth of the institution and its stakeholders.

Collaboration is key to the future of higher education. No matter the size or length of years of a higher learning institution, certain strategies can make collaborations and partnerships more effective and stay financially viable. Hence this initiative can bring about a definite change in the attitude and outlook of catholic higher educational institutions in India with a shared vision and responsibility benefitting from each other, enriching each other in mutually sustainable initiatives.

Partnerships between universities are beneficial to all, from the staff and students to the world as a whole. The rate of internationalization / Nationalisation is growing rapidly, with unhindered communication channels and inexpensive travel. Universities /Colleges /Institutes across the world are already seeking to make the most of the possibilities this presents by forming partnerships and fostering relationships with other institutions.

Collaboration can provide a much-needed boost and quickly in academic and co-curricular offerings for institutions without strengths in certain areas. By emphasizing collaboration, we can define this new era of higher education as one of growth through cooperation rather than retrenchment.

Step 1: Identify areas for collaboration

Collaboration can take many different forms and the most common type of alliance is around academics and research. As we begin to identify areas where partnerships might be possible, here are some areas of Collaboration between Universities /Colleges /Institutions are:

  • Research Collaborations:
  • Faculty/Researchers/Students of XYZ and ABC can collaborate in future research projects that either involve working cooperatively with partner institutions and/or cover a research
    topic with an international component.  Activities include, but are not limited to, efforts toward developing proposals for collaborative research, co-authoring publication, conducting joint research projects, or establishing joint research centers etc.
  • Faculty Exchange with Partner Universities:
  • Faculty members of XYZ and ABC can travel between to participate in activities that can enhance their international experience and knowledge and also to foster relations
    between the parties.  Activities include, but are not limited to, delivering lectures, teaching a course, taking a sabbatical, acquiring skills for institutional governance and developing collaborative research etc.
  • Student Exchange with Partner Universities:
  • Students can be given an opportunity to travel among parties to participate in activities/events that will enhance their international experience and knowledge.
  • Promotion of integrated studies for related studies:
  • The parties can look at integrating an international/intercultural dimension into their teaching, research, and service functions of the university which would enable the students understanding on a global perspective.
  • Cooperate in the exchange of information relating to their activities in teaching and research in fields of mutual interests; sharing best practices adopted by each parties; sharing of e-content between the parties; access to library and repository services, if possible.
  • Conduct cultural projects, study tours, as mutually agreed in writing between the parties prior to commencement of this activity:

Some of the area’s of Collaboration between Universities/Colleges/Institutes and Industry are as follows:

i. Research Collaborations: Universities/Colleges/Institutes and Industry can collaborate in future research projects can also seek funding for collaborations from any research organization funding. Both the parties can hold/conduct, events, Joint workshops, conferences, training programs within the areas of mutual interest.
ii. Industry Academia Interactions: We could request the Industry to offer a month long internship for students of Universities/Colleges/Institutes to work on live projects as well as to issue entry passes for our students for plant visit/industrial visit.
iii. Being an Industry Mentor: We could request the experts from the industry to be an industry mentor of our students. 01 – 05 students would be assigned to them, as per their interest and can be asked to coordinate with the experts as per his/her availability. The mentoring of these students can be done through phone/e-mail/in-person and can be decided by your kind self.
iv. Mentor to Incubation Centre: We could request the Industry experts to be an industry mentor of start-ups in incubator of Universities/Colleges/Institutes.
v. Guest Lecture: We could request the industry to motivate their employees to spare some time from their busy schedule with students discussing the new trends/ requisites of the industry.
vi. Possibility for case studies: We could request the industry could share some of the problems being faced by them/their clients with the students to check whether they could come with some of the out of the box thinking.

Step 2: Structure potential partnership opportunities

Institutions choose collaborating partners based less on proximity and more on the importance of shared vision. As Universities/Colleges/Institutes begin to prepare to structure a deal with a partner, here are some key questions to consider:

i. What factors should be used to evaluate the feasibility and attractiveness of a potential partner (e.g., geography, shared vision)?
ii. Which institution is the best strategic and operational fit for the type of collaboration being sought?
What additional collaboration opportunities could we pursue with existing partners?
iii. How will the collaboration work? Who has to sign off on decisions? How can the two institutions work together operationally?

Step 3: Sustain the benefits of a partnership

Forging a partnership might be the easy task; sustaining the benefits of a partnership over the long term could prove more difficult. Hence, Communication is the key to sustain any partnerships.