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Academic Architecture
1.0 Some objective reality

1. A small beginning in one Centre in India has proliferated into some 3000+ Centres in 28 countries in the world in a period of less than two decades of operation. Thus, change , planned or unplanned, is a reality of existence.

2. Since in an educational system student once admitted has to reside through the stipulated period of studies, no change can ever come by abruptly replacing the past by the new howsoever diligently worked out or planned. Therefore, coexistence is another reality and requirement to function in an apparent fluidity and contradiction taxes the planner's ingenuity.

3. NIIT does not deliver courses or degrees of any university as has been the practice of some other training organizations world over. Conceding that there is a genuine need to access a degree by the students, NIIT has assiduously sought unique alliances with the degree granting institutions. The formation of The NIIT Academy (NA), a non-profit educational Trust within the NIIT Limited, helps in forging alliances which are landmark events in the history of higher education (see Table 2). This success itself has propelled NIIT to another level of challenge and action.

4. One immediate and wise decision was to recognize that NIIT education springs from the best perception of the market demand and market that NIIT commands.Once this is well defined, the task of giving an academic character to the program of studies is a new enabling factor which is the central issue before The NIIT Academy.

5. Change as a policy matter can be best identified by seeking answers to the putative causative factors where planners have to deal with the change of ultimate and proximate causes which finally spell out a business plan and a corresponding coherent educational plan .

6. Such a complex activity is required to remain continuously alert in harmony with any ideational means and methods of implementing the ideas. The fixed point is decided to be the business first and education built on the business plan. Further, straddling the past with the present also requires continuous re-definition of terms to establish a transparency of operation and understanding.

7. To guide all operations of far-flung Centers from the headquarters in Delhi, India, not only communications become difficult but understanding and conceptualization become distorted. The headquarters has to communicate with the Centers. NA has to communicate with the Alumni and enrolled students for the alliance purposes. NA has to ensure constant dialogue with the partnering universities.

8. In an ambitious knowledge industry, supply of expert knowledge possessors is always short compared to the urgency with which new persons have to be empowered in expert knowledge possession. This is being acutely felt, particularly in terms of faculty development and appropriate know-how in managing a knowledge institution. The matter becomes further compounded by the fact that NIIT is trying to establish a working model for the twentyfirst century higher education institution which deals comfortably both with the pursuit of excellence in knowledge and control the market created and retained. Hence under Project Uplift NIIT staff is being encouraged to acquire higher Awards like ANIIT and FNIIT in IT(Information Technology) and MHE (Management of Higher Education) while discharging their normal duties on a daily basis.

9. Each country has a specific character and a specific country policy on higher education. Therefore, irrespective of NIIT's desire to forge uniform operation by the dictates of business policy and education policy, prudency requires that local conditions have to be adopted to the general policy.

11. Living with change also requires living with the demand for upgrading curriculum . To meet this task effectively, each semester is taken as a discrete entity and internal updating happens continuously without necessarily upsetting overall academic architecture.

12. Worldwide there is a demand not only for learning conceptual knowledge and modern skill , but there is also a simultaneous craving for university degrees . It so happens that the syndrome under which the degree giving universities were created is expensive and complex. NIIT recognises this fact and is dedicated to diligently work for a model which can create access for a degree without completely dismantling the NIIT system built carefully over more than a decade. This access is delivered at minimum cost to the student-customer, to the provider and to the nation.

Some Objective Reality
Some Succinct Definitions
Some principles which determine the architecture and guide future changes
Highlights of Programs of Studies in Career Education
Role of The NIIT Academy
        

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