“If given a choice, would we pick a pre-planned set meal or go for an à la carte menu? The winner would be the à la carte meal as it allows us the freedom of choice,” says Mr. K.V. Ramani, Founder and Chancellor of Sai University
(SaiU), a new upcoming private global university in Chennai. Alluding to a similar theory in the field of education, Mr. Ramani says that students too should be given the freedom to choose what they want to learn without any boundaries or restrictions. “SaiU will provide students with the power of choice,” the Chancellor says.

The new university that aims to achieve global eminence through its impressive interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approach of liberal education across all its schools and programs – arts, sciences, computing, law, business et al.

In an informative and freewheeling chat with Chetan Sharma, Founder, Edumate, an online education portal, Mr. Ramani gets candid about the status of higher education in India, the new National Education Policy (NEP), and how with the right balance, the business of education can be created as a service to mankind.

“Education currently is treated as a business model. We at Sai University aim to look at imparting education as a service where knowledge transfer is the ultimate goal. At the same time, it is also important to note that good education is expensive. Striking the right balance between the two is key,” says Mr. Ramani. His vision of Sai University rising to the levels of global eminence is powered by the idea of providing holistic education which is liberal and authentic. “The new generation of Indian youth is driving the growth of today. We need to equip our youth with the right kind of education and resources,” says Mr. Ramani. At SaiU, rote learning is discouraged and students are encouraged to be perceptive to nuances and be open-minded to embrace education and learning as a continuous process that kindle their mind and spirit.

A student from Sai University will not only be given the opportunity to gain excellence in their chosen fields of expertise, but also be given a platform to learn a wide range of life skills that are essential in the global stage. As an extension to this idea, as per the experiential education system here, a student doing a major in Computer Science can also take a minor in Music, an option that is not traditionally available in many institutions. At this instance, education becomes a great leveler that serves all students irrespective of their diverse economic and socio-cultural backgrounds, says Mr. Ramani.

Stressing that the education sector in India has neither competition nor cooperation, Mr. Ramani says that the new NEP would be a great way to integrate the Indian education system with global ones. Mr. Ramani adds that the NEP will pave way for healthy competition and cooperation thereby making resources available to many more students.

Referring to real-life experiences, Mr. Ramani also speaks about how Learning and Earning are connected. “People usually think that the reason for their education is to get a job and get paid. But that is only the beginning. Learning never stops in one’s life. The learnings from school and college leads to an earning job which in turn leads to more learnings all through the cycle of life. Even as we continue to earn, we learn a lot about life and the world, both personally and professionally. I don’t think learning and earning can be separate as they are symbiotic, and this is one such concept we would like our students to embrace and apply.” Mr. Ramani signs off.

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