Symbiosis opens first skill development university

The Pune-based Symbiosis Open Education Society has set up Maharashtra’s first skill development university called the Symbiosis Skills and Open University with an investment of Rs 250 crore to churn out students ready for jobs in various sectors.
“The new university will produce employable and skilled manpower for various sectors of our industry in the county,” SB Mujumdar, founder-vice chancellor of Symbiosis International University, said. He said the self-financed university would offer certificate, diploma and degree courses, with duration from a few weeks to four years.
Mujumdar said the university aims to create job ready skilled youth in line with industry needs. “The vocational university model has many different characteristic features as compared to a conventional university such as multi entry and exit, credit banking and transfer, entry for 10th passed students, more than 70 per cent focus on practical training, tie-ups with industry for curricula development and skill training,” he said.
The Symbiosis Skills and Open University, enacted through a bill passed by Maharashtra State Legislature on May 3, 2017, offers certificate to diploma to degree and post-graduate degree in high growth sectors such as automobile, mechatronics, construction, retail,banking, ports and terminal management, and beauty and wellness.
Spread over 15-acre green campus at Kiwali, near Pune, adjoining Pune-Mumbai expressway, the university provides aspiring students with an opportunity for vertical mobility.
The open and distance learning (ODL) programs would complement the skill based courses. “These ODL programs are aimed at reaching the unreached and providing educational opportunities to students from all strata of society and to those located in remote corners,” Swati Mujumdar, principal director at Symbiosis Open Education Society, said.
The new university has set up centres of excellence with specialized skill training equipment, workshops with industrial machinery, mock store for retail sector and skill training simulators imported from Germany, in order to provide a real life experiential learning to students.
The university, which will start its courses from June-July 2017 has set up various schools in line with the industry sectors such as School of Automobile & Mechatronics Engineering, School of Construction Engineering & Infrastructure Management, School of Retail Management, School of Architecture, Urban Development & Planning, School of Ports, Terminals & Warehouse Management, School of Beauty & Wellness, School of Health Sciences & Management, School of Public Policy & Administration, School of Open, Distance Learning and Continuing Education & School of Interdisciplinary Sciences.
“The industry has been involved from the very beginning in developing the curricula, designing of skill training labs and identification of machinery and software for the university,” Mujumdar said.
The fees for the various courses such as a certificate to engineering degree course range between Rs 3,000 and Rs 1.80 lakh.
Last September, Symbiosis Society has also started the Symbiosis University of Applied Sciences, a self-financed university, at Indore in Madhya Pradesh with an investment of Rs 200 crore.
With over 250 students on its rolls at present, the 30-acre green campus offers short term skill based courses as well as degree programs in high growth sectors such as automobile, construction, IT, mechatronics, retail, BFSI, pharmacy and health sciences.
In this unique model of skill development, top industry leaders such as Reliance Capital, HDFC Bank, Future Group and Mahindra and Mahindra, SKF, Shoppers Stop, among others, are also setting up their bases on the university campus, to provide skill training to students.

Michael Gonsalves