“Education at Harvard is transcending the narrow walls of classrooms and immersing into self-reflection, synergy, and community. The slogan at Harvard today is ‘Learn to change the world’. What matters the most is the impact that you make through your education,” Dr. Prabhat Pankaj, Director, Jaipuria Institute of Management, Jaipur. He should know, as he has just returned from a two-week Management and Leadership in Higher Education at Graduate School of Education, Harvard University. And making an impact with education has been a passion for him. He tells us about the experience.
In distinguished company on the hallowed campus
Dr. Pankaj was joined by 120 education leaders from all over the world for the program held on Harvard University’s main campus. They were Presidents, Provost, Deans and Directors of prestigious educational institutes. “The program was largely based on experience sharing and learning from each other’s practices and challenges. Each of us brought mini cases from our institutions and discussed them threadbare. These were highly engaging and productive discussions that all of us gained from,” he explains.
Speaking of inspiration, Dr. Pankaj asserts that scholarship is in the air as the entire township around Harvard Square is filled with students and professors. His favorite spot, however, remained the well-equipped library frequented by students and faculty members alike. And his takeaways from the experience? “The three As of learning are that it must be Appreciated, Approached, and Acquired; there is a lot of dignity and pride in learning. Collaboration is the ultimate form of learning. Blended learning is the way forward,” he recounts.
Coming back to Jaipuria
Dr. Pankaj is buzzing with excitement as he is back on campus after discussions with thought leaders, many of whom showed interested in visiting the B School. He also expects the engagement to lead to International exchange programs in the future. Talking of the inspired changes he would like to see in his B School he states, “I would like to make classroom pedagogy more interesting and absorbing. I am hoping for changes in classroom logistics and environment, like bringing Alexa to enhance the learning experience. Enhancing our blended learning and beyond classroom, programs will be a priority. I also want us to work on learning from local and India-centric businesses and create significant social impact through education and community engagement.” He clearly has the vision that has been bolstered by the Harvard experience, and that augurs well for the B School, which is already gaining international momentum.