In this rapidly changing world, a world-class transformational education experience is what today’s youth aspires to obtain. Excellence in teaching and research standards and holistic learning for societal improvement is the endeavour of all leading universities. Three eminent Harvard University faculty members presented their views on ‘Building World-Class Education: What Lessons Does Harvard Offer?’
The talk, interactive session and reception were held in Mumbai, India on January 16, 2014, hosted by the Harvard Club of Mumbai, the Harvard University South Asia Institute (SAI), the Harvard Business School India Research Center, and the Harvard Alumni Association.
The Faculty included Jorge Domínguez, Vice Provost for International Affairs at Harvard University and Antonio Madero Professor for the Study of Mexico; Jacqueline Bhabha, Director of Research, FXB Center for Health and Human Rights; Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights, Harvard School of Public Health; the Jeremiah Smith, Jr. Lecturer on Law, Harvard Law School; Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School; and Ashish Nanda, Robert Braucher Professor of Practice, Faculty Director of Executive Education, and Research Director at the Program on the Legal Profession, Harvard Law School; Director, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.
Speaking to an audience of mostly Harvard alumni and senior Indian educators, Vice Provost Jorge Dominguez started the conversation to talk first about Harvard’s mistakes – in his opinion, to be truly a world-class institution, the institution would have to be free from the folly of dogmatism, arrogance and labour market protectionism; student bodies should have universal representation, and in general adopt a more inclusive approach. His vision for Harvard is to be a truly public university, open to all, with excellence as the only criteria, accessible to all with varied locations and in many parts of the world.
Ashish Nanda cited his personal and matchless Harvard experience first at the Business School and then at the Law School. This world-class experience instilled a sense of autonomy, of stretch – a desire to excel, and a sense of connectedness, of community, of growth through knowledge and empathy.
Jacqueline Bhabha talked of how diversity within the institution could promote excellence in the product. The institution, to be world class, should lead by example, to make the world a better place for diverse groups with tolerance for and freedom of speech for each one. Opportunity and equality without bias for all – student groups and faculty, with equal reward for excellence, both in teaching and in research.
Dialogues such as these will continue to contribute to achieving excellence, as real-life learning can provide many lessons.
Watch a full video of the event here: