Wednesday Jan 29, 2014

Higher Education Vision 2030

We have seen our neighbouring countries like China, Korea and Singapore, transform from developing to advanced economies in a short span of time owing to a larger vision that correlated economic development to reforms in the education sector, in particular higher education and research. With this in vision, India needs to charter out an education plan to educate and empower our youth through a sound education system with a clear vision and a time-bound roadmap.

It is interesting to know that by 2030, India is expected  to be the fastest growing economy touching a GDP of $10 trillion and one of the youngest nations in the world with a median age of 32. The greying developed world is expected to face a skilled talent shortage of approximately 56 million by 2030 and is already looking at India as the future stock of skilled talent.

With this in context, FICCI has endeavoured to create a ‘Vision 2030' for Higher Education in India; similar to a revolution that India had for Telecom in the 90s.

Mr. Mohan Das Pai (Chairman, FICCI Higher Education Committee), wrote an article* which spoke of not only this vision but also the new system that he intends and visions to introduce in the country.

Some excerpts of the vision that was highlighted:
  • Atleast 23 Indian universities would be among the global top 200
  • 6 Indian intellectuals would have been awarded the Nobel Prize
  • India to be among top 5 countries globally in cited research output
  • R&D spends totalling over $140 billion
  • Introduction of a differentiated academic system with a three-tiered structure (comprising highly selective elite research universities, comprehensive universities and specialised institutions)
  • Seamless access to high quality content and curriculum through open source such as the Massive Open-Online Courses (MOOCs) model
  • Freedom of choice coupled with a liberal arts component needs to be integrated within the curriculum, instead of the current model that promotes narrow specializations
  • Faculty would be a mix of academics, researchers and industry professionals
  • Institutions to rely heavily on online methods of teaching and learning, collaborate with ITIs, polytechnics and other vocational training providers to impart skill based training and offer both part-time and full-time options
  • The system would enable seamless mobility of students, faculty, researchers and professionals across institutions of all types.

As we speak of this vision, it needs to be understood that our education ecosystem today 'suffers' with its system. The methodology of teaching, the resistance to change, obsolete or non-existing IT infrastructure, disconnect from the industry & never changing syllabi are a few issues which not only hinder the development of our institutions but is also plagues the student's intellect and aspirations as he/she graduates.


Thursday Jan 23, 2014

Mastering the Cost of Higher Education with Oracle Applications

There is a perfect storm going on in the world of Higher Education right now. Over the last few years, the cost of higher education has been outpacing the consumer price index.

Parents are starting to ask how and why this storm is happening. Well, both college endowments and state appropriations are either decreasing or stagnant, while university expenses and enrollments are increasing. Yet universities are being forced to keep tuition costs flat.

So how can Higher Education intuitions better understand and manage these issues?
We realize that Higher Education institutions might have good visibility into total operational costs and total revenue collected, but little or no visibility into individual program, degree and course costs, or the cost per student. Currently, colleges and universities have not implemented activity-based costing which is used in many commercial enterprises. Activity-based costing goes beyond the traditional allocation of overhead and provides institutions with better insight into information needed to make strategic decisions about cost containment and allocation of resources. With governing and regulatory bodies currently recommending (and likely soon requiring) this type of analysis and reporting, it is becoming critical for higher education institutions to have this type of insight for both long term and short term planning and reporting. 

So which institutional processes benefit the most from understanding costs more?
Budget and spending decisions need to be based on data and not assumptions. Financial ERP systems and the current structure of institutions’ charts of accounts are not set up to support the type of analysis needed. Using activity-based cost and revenue modeling enables academic institutions to answer crucial questions and, more importantly, analyze many business scenarios to determine their best courses of action.

However, for this type of process to be successful, collaboration between the academic and administrative teams in institutions is foundational and critical. These two groups need to start the discussion about how, and to what level, costs and revenues are to be allocated and which drivers are going to be used. This is the starting point to begin a good model. It is an iterative process and institutions will build upon this and create additional model scenarios as economic and academic conditions change.

So how can Oracle help?

To survive, Higher Education institutions need to either make programs financial sustainable, or ensure there are other programs that have enough surplus to make up for the deficit of programs.

Oracle can help with:

  • Transparency that enables institutions to ensure resources are aligned correctly based on actual measurable information
  • Understanding the true cost to implement new programs and the ability to make pricing decisions based on those costs
  • A thorough understanding of costs at a more granular level and the root cause of the costs. This information enables institutions to make informed decisions
  • Creating accountability that enables departments to understand the resources they consume as it relates to the revenue that they generating
  • Addressing concerns and questions from various stakeholders, e.g. CFO, Board of Trustees, State and other governing boards and accreditation bodies.
To stave off this perfect storm, it is imperative that our institutions now master the cost of Higher Education.

Wednesday Dec 25, 2013

Oracle PeopleSoft Publishes User Experience Guidelines

PeopleSoft has introduced many new features in recent releases that provide a rich, contemporary, intuitive user experience.  The frameworks for these features are provided in PeopleTools, and PeopleSoft applications teams have delivered many great instances, particularly in 9.2.  Although our applications teams are delivering a great deal, PeopleTools enables customers to modify delivered instances or create their own to support unique requirements of their enterprise.  If customers do that, they will benefit from applying common user experience guidelines to the things they produce. 

To support customers in those efforts, the PeopleSoft Applications User Experience team is excited to announce the release of the PeopleSoft User Experience (UX) Guidelines. The UX Guidelines contain information about the usage of key PeopleSoft components to create highly usable, efficient, and productive experiences for Oracle customers.

Several PeopleSoft customers participated in a survey in December 2012, which helped identify the following topics. These topics are covered in the first release of the guidelines:

  • Dashboard
  • WorkCenter
  • Guided Processes (Activity Guides)
  • Pivot Grids
  • Pagelets
  • Related Content
  • Related Actions
  • Modal and Mouseover Windows
  • Grids

Why do we need UX guidelines?

With PeopleTools 8.53 and the 9.2 PeopleSoft Applications, you will see more modern and visually appealing features delivered by PeopleSoft. With the help of UX guidelines, customers and partners can not only design and tailor their own user experience but also ensure consistency with features designed by PeopleSoft. The UX guidelines explain each topic in detail, display relevant images and provide usage guidelines. 

UX Guidelines Examples

The following is an excerpt from the WorkCenter section:


The image below shows part of the Dashboard section:


Usage guidelines have been provided for all the other topics as well.  PeopleSoft UX Guidelines will enable customers to design and tailor the ultimate user experience for their organization.  Following the guidelines will ensure consistency across applications. The guidelines would also help in choosing the right pattern for any scenario.  These guidelines will be periodically updated as PeopleSoft introduces new capabilities.


Mohit Satraj Phogat
Author: Mohit Phogat

This site focuses on Oracle's offerings to higher education in the Indian region. It intends to cover news, reviews, guides, how-to articles, descriptive videos, and podcasts on the trends which should be helpful to customers, prospects and developer community alike.

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