Moving beyond classroom, SPPU’s job-ready online courses gaining popularity – The Indian Express

IS IT possible to take a Harvard university skill-based certificate course for a sum of Rs 350? While it may seem impossible, at the new Degree Plus web portal created by the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU), hundreds of students have achieved this feat, said university officials.
Started a few months ago, DegreePlus is an online platform started by SPPU to offer skill-based certificate courses to students of the university and some even for alumni, wherein the university has tied up with world-class institutes and leading ed-tech platforms to offer over 300 courses for free or at highly concessional rates.
The list of institutions offering these courses are not only reputed but varied – 16 courses from Harvard Business School at a special fee for SPPU students, 100 free courses from edX (an open online course provider created by Harvard and MIT), six free courses from AWS (Amazon Web services) academy, 70 discounted courses from Simplilearn and 25 discounted courses from eKeeda, a platform for engineering students to prepare them for competitive exams and jobs.
A testimony to the popularity of the platform are the numbers.
Apoorva Palkar, director of the Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Linkages, SPPU, who is overseeing the DegreePlus platform, said the university has received inquiries from over 6,000 students in the last couple of months alone since the launch of the portal.
“Of these, 2,780 students have enrolled in the programmes. Most students are doing the free courses but some are not shying away from paying for certifications… enrolments for Simplilearn courses through our portal have crossed 500,” she said.
SPPU Vice-Chancellor Dr Nitin Karmalkar said the idea for the platform came up during the lockdown period, when both acceptance and need for online courses started picking up.
“We are all talking about skill-based education, making students job ready, employability skills driven curriculum design. Besides a graduation or post-graduation degree, in today’s competitive era, we need to give an extra edge to our students and this platform is enabling us to do that. This platform is providing an opportunity to all SPPU students to upgrade skills in the areas of information technology, Artificial Intelligence, cloud computing, manufacturing business, media, culture, economics, entrepreneurship and more,” he said.

So far, the university has managed to make some significant partnerships as far as offering online courses is concerned. While the Harvard Business School is offering 16 courses specially for SPPU, the edX platform has also offered 1 lakh licences exclusively for SPPU students.
Deepak Hardikar, chief education technology officer of SPPU, explained, “Each licence allows a student to take nearly 20 courses offered through edX. Though many courses are already free on the platform, if students want a certificate, then they have to pay about 100 dollars per certified course. For students who will be using the licences offered to us, even certifications are free,” he said.
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Alifiya Khan<div dir="auto"> <div dir="auto">Alifiya Khan is an Assistant Editor … read more

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