In sync with industry

Print edition : June 17, 2011

Suneel Galgotia, Chancellor of Galgotias University. -

Interview with Suneel Galgotia of Galgotias University.

The Galgotias group is essentially associated with technology education and technical publications. What prompted it to enter streams such as humanities, arts, journalism, finance and commerce? What do you see as your core areas and what is your vision for the education sector as a whole?

We are a higher education platform from which students can make a transition to corporate jobs. Our genesis has been technical education. Publications have been more diverse. The way we have reached out to corporates in the last few years has convinced us that this is the way by which we can fulfil students real goals and aspirations.

Students coming for higher education have the same aspirations whether they are from the technical stream or from humanities, arts, finance, etc. In the last decade or so, we have developed the art of ensuring students a smooth transition to corporate jobs. This gave us the confidence to move successfully into other streams. Management education is a shining example of that, whereby in a few years we have become a preferred B-school both for corporates and students.

Research happens to be one of your key strength areas. Could you tell us more about the areas in which the university promotes research? What has been the response of the student community towards research because of late it has been seen that very few students are inclined to take up research after their basic graduation and postgraduate degrees? Have you adopted any special measure to promote research?

It is a known fact that industries benefit from externally performed research and development, and we at Galgotias endeavour to encourage path-breaking research to be able to contribute in a meaningful manner to industry.

Research at Galgotias spans a diverse set of disciplines such as CAD/CAM [computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing], rapid prototyping, nanotechnology, optoelectronics, and materials engineering. We encourage the faculty to do collaborative research with prestigious institutions in India and abroad. This partnership approach creates unique opportunities in inter- and multidisciplinary areas.

Can you explain the screening process you use to ensure that only the best come to this university?

Excellence in every facet of education is what Galgotias University is aiming for. We would like to admit bright and meritorious students in order to set new benchmarks for quality in education. Our screening process does not just look for high merit in terms of percentages achieved in examinations but also gives weight to personality and other activities. Applications are screened on the basis of marks, and there are tests and interviews as per the demands of different courses.

Students who have excelled in sports or other such activities, at the national and State levels, are also given due consideration. Through the screening process, we wish to select the best among Indian and foreign students who apply for admission.

What are your placement initiatives? What has been industry's response to your institutions and to internships and traineeships for your students?

Industry is confident that it can recruit corporate-ready students who can take off in its jobs without much loss of time. Our students have ample choice in internships, and they can successfully move into areas of their preference.

This becomes the basis for a more permanent working relationship of students with industry. This is a win-win situation for both. Focus on industry relevance, be it the curriculum or other areas of corporate-readiness programme, is our key strategy for placements.

Your university claims that students have the freedom to design their own curriculum and can get a multidisciplinary learning experience. Could you please elaborate, and also what has been the feedback from students on this?

Each student will make his/her own timetable by registering for individual courses that are offered, as per the time slots when they are offered, and depending upon the student's core and elective course requirements during the particular period.

A lot of flexibility exists in the system for a student to choose from multiple disciplines and follow his/her interests and career goals. This freedom to choose courses across disciplines gives students many options that are not open to them in a traditional set-up. Students from the same programme in the same year may have a different set of courses and different timetables. Such a system is followed in many premier institutions in India and abroad and has been successful. The students' feedback on this has been encouraging.

What would be your university's status in, say, 10 years' time? What are your expansion plans? What new areas of learning are you looking at?

Our vision is to create a symbiotic relationship between Galgotias University and industry. Students should come from the various streams technical as well as non-technical and be confident of moving to industry/corporates for a career of their choice and thereby getting value for the money spent on and time spent at Galgotias University for higher education. We plan to upgrade/expand our programmes constantly in sync with the changes in the Indian and global economy in the context of human capital requirements. In line with the changing economy, we plan to move into areas of supply chain management, health care management, and architecture.

What is your USP?

Career relevance and career enablement are our USP. Value for the money and time spent on higher education from the perspective of getting a good career is what sets us apart from the rest.

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