Turning challenges into opportunities: The inspirational story of JSS Academy of Higher Education & Research (AHER)
About the University: JSS Academy of Higher Education & Research (JSS AHER), established in 2008, formerly known as JSS University, is a Deemed to be University located in Mysuru, Karnataka, and is a part of JSS Mahavidyapeetha which runs a variety of educational institutions. The University has been focusing on teaching, research, and health services since its inception. Renowned as a destination of learning, research, and service, the reputation of JSS AHER has become synonymous with quality education in India and abroad.
The University’s Approach Towards Challenges
International Admissions and Financial Aid: JSS AHER being Health Science based institution, faced challenges in admitting foreign students after the new rules and regulations by the Union Ministry of Education (MoE) based on the clearance of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET). Despite this challenge, the University had set benchmarks to be achieved towards internationalisation in academic research, admission, and recruitment.
Financial Aid: JSS AHER partnered with the Government of India in supporting higher education internationally through two flagship programmes. The e-Vidya Bharati and e-Arogya Bharati (e-VBAB) programmes of the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India to support and fund students from 54 African countries through online education programmes leading to an award of Undergraduate/Postgraduate Degree or Diploma. JSS AHER was able to help international students from 18 countries with full scholarships amounting to USD 2,50,000 for the admissions of the academic year 2020-21 through these programmes.
Research & Collaboration: JSS AHER is committed to promote internationalisation and provide education transcending boundaries and languages through sharing of academic and research support with other JSS Institutions in Mauritius, Dubai, and the USA. Further, an Endowment Chair of 10 crores for international faculty is created to engage them in teaching and research. The University has been conducting World Health Organisation (WHO) sponsored workshop and training programme that connects health care professionals with industrial sectors to enhance institution-industry partnerships in research, innovation, and recruitment.
As the world came to a standstill with the pandemic, technology, and human resilience rose to the occasion and connected people beyond boundaries. WHO and JSS AHER joined hands to strengthen capacity building in the pharma sector.
Training & Development: Workshops and training programs were arranged with eminent international professionals for faculty members and students to make them aware of and accept the changes in academia, research, and outreach, preparing them to be at par with international Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).
Strategic policy changes took place at the management level and many divisions were incorporated into JSS AHER followed by recruitment of highly experienced and skilled officers for each division. New guidelines were imposed to make the Internal Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC) empower teaching & learning, research, and outreach activities at the national and global level.
Media Engagement: Earlier known as JSS University and then as Jagadguru Sri Shivarathreeshwara University is now known as JSS Academy of Higher Education & Research as per the order and direction by University Grants Commission (UGC) to the University in 2017-2018. This name change of the University had created a lot of confusion in the minds of stakeholders, private and Government organisations in identifying the University, affecting the reputation and publications. The University brought in strong policies and strategies to address this issue.
Quality Assessment: QS I-GAUGE team guided JSS Institutions of Higher Education in the data submission process. The parameters considered for QS I-GAUGE ratings further supported the University in quantitative and qualitative data management related to Teaching & Learning, Faculty Quality, Employability, Student Diversity, Facilities, Social Responsibilities, Research, etc. The scorecard of QS I-GAUGE is now helping JSS Institutions to evolve further in providing quality education and health care services. QS I-GAUGE E-Learning for Academic Digitisation Certification (E-LEAD) was awarded after evaluating the self-reported data focussing on student-faculty online engagement, LMS, IT support facilities, and best practices for e-learning. The data analysis, evaluation, and audit were of commendable standards and expressed the quality and standard of the QS I-GAUGE system. The ranking agencies helped JSS AHER understand the requirement to work on the ‘Affiliation ID’ of Scopus and bring all publications under various names (before 2018) under one name “JSS Academy of Higher Education & Research.” This has helped the University to achieve a higher citation index in the SCOPUS database.
University’s Inspiration and Achievements
Visionary leadership, teamwork, collaborations, and recognition inspired the University to achieve success in the higher education sector at the national and global levels. Prestigious awards, rankings, ratings, and accreditations helped the exponential growth of the University in the following areas:
- Status - Category up-gradation by UGC/MoE
- Curriculum development - Academic program & curriculum delivery
- E-learning - Online Teaching & Learning
- Research - Publications, Patents & Innovations
- Admission - Pharmacy & Life Sciences, Management Studies & PhD enrolment
- Internationalisation - International students, adjunct faculty, and collaboration
- Reputation - Visibility at national & global level
- Quality of staff & students - Enrichment and motivation
- Revenue generation - Additional programmes, innovative partnerships
- Mentor program - mentoring and guiding other institutions
Community Outreach During COVID-19 Pandemic
The University has strategised its efforts towards research for preventing the spread and impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in three ways:
- Technological advancements that decrease the risk to life for patients and health care workers
- Discovery of new drugs
- Modelling studies that can support and predict the trends of the pandemic
WHO has established a “working group to Integrate medical devices including in-vitro diagnostics into the WHO Global Benchmarking Tool (GBT),” with six major representations from the six regions of WHO. Dr Surinder Singh, Vice-Chancellor of JSS AHER & Former Drugs Controller General of India is the only nominated representative from South East Asia (SEA) region.
The Leadership of JSS AHER inspires the research team towards vaccine clinical trials, collaborative healthcare workshops, and developing biomedical devices for combating COVID-19. JSS AHER continues to endeavour its research initiatives that are impactful to society and benefit humanity.
JSS AHER through JSS Hospital and JSS Medical College was appreciated by the government and public for trailblazing its successful journey in the war against Covid from care to clinical trials to now as a vaccination centre.
Significant Qualities of HEIs and the Approach of JSS AHER
Good Governance and Leadership: Based on the philosophies of governance to make people more responsible, JSS AHER has committed itself to develop the next generation of leaders who can help the University realize its objectives and provide good governance.
Social Responsibility: Community engagement programmes that include cultural and intellectual aspects make a significant difference to society. JSS AHER continues to lead by example and make a difference to society through community engagement and outreach programs.
Global Engagement: Global engagement opportunities enable HEIs to learn from different sources of knowledge and develop individual and collective capacity for deep listening, dialogue, and collaborations for the common good. JSS AHER operates dynamically and brings in a global environment and perspectives.
The views & opinions expressed in this blog do not necessarily represent those of QS-ERA India Private Limited and/or its employees, partners, shareholders, or other stakeholders.