The courses will allow students at 18 Australian institutions to get the chance to interact with a diverse range of people, visit sacred rituals and join walking tours virtually, as well as earn academic credit.
‘Reimagining India’ is supported by the Australian government’s New Colombo Plan so that students are offered funding for the course.
The TEQSA-approved ‘Indian Century?’ course will last for a semester, and will be open to all University of Adelaide students – including international and domestic undergrads and postgrads.
The move to online was informed by IndoGenius’s experience teaching an India-focused MOOC on the Coursera platform for the US Department of State.
“For 10 years, we’ve been bringing students from all over the world to India to engage with companies, start-ups, NGOs, amazing in-person study tours, one to four weeks long,” Nick Booker, course director and co-founder of IndoGenius, told The PIE.
“With the travel restrictions in place, we obviously haven’t been able to bring students in person to India since February last year, so a number of our partners asked us to create something online, virtual. And we started work on that in May last year.”
Participants will interact with a diverse range of people, from students to domain experts including employees at EY, Infosys, Google, Facebook, Fabindia, Zomato, Oyo and more.
“A number of our partners asked us to create something online, virtual”
The programs are designed to foster transferable 21st century skills such as remote cross-cultural collaboration and creative problem solving, IndoGenius added.
The interdisciplinary nature of the provider’s programs means participants often collaborate with students of different backgrounds.
“The content we’re always creating is around taking those different perspectives so that you learn from each other and you see the world through the eyes of people who are studying slightly different things to you,” Booker explained.
“It’s much more like a working environment where you have people with different skill sets. And I think that’s one of the reasons why our students have always enjoyed our programs: they’re from different backgrounds, different universities, and yet they’re brought together with India as that common experience.”
Students from India studying abroad are showing a strong interest in “The Indian Century?” course, Booker noted.
“We have students in Indian colleges who also want to learn about India, but they also want to learn with foreign students and it’ll be much more collaborative,” he said.