The 21st century has been a defining period in terms of evolving technology and social change. Companies such as Facebook and Google didn’t exist 20 years ago, and who knows if we will be living by the same rules 20 years from now. Rapid progress is expected in the fields of information technology, new materials, genetics, environment and energy (just to name just a few) which means that thinking traditionally about making career decisions is passé. This has significant career choice implications for our youth who will be making key decisions about what to study, where to study and how to go about doing it. Very often we find that young people don’t realize their true potential because they end up in the wrong careers or colleges. Our educators need to be resourced and ready to guide our youth to make these critical decisions that will stay with them their entire lives.
The inaugural IC3 Conference, being held in Mumbai on 31 August and 01 September at Taj Land End, will bring over 300 delegates from high schools and universities around the world. The event is being organized with the objective of “Transforming lives globally through Career and College Counseling,” by devising policies and practices that can ensure good education and career decisions for the youth of India and beyond. To date, the delegates represent over 98 cities from 12 countries capturing the most popular education destinations of United States, United Kingdom, Canada, India, Australia, Singapore, and more. The two-day program will feature over 30 sessions conducted by over 100 educators to share knowledge and drive discussion about counseling, admissions and careers.
By 2020, India will be the youngest nation in the world with the median age of 29 years. India is experiencing a youth boom with half its population under 25, which will make it a global talent hub and one of the largest consumer markets in the world. But for this to happen, we will have to provide our youth with education and skills to take full advantage of this opportunity. This is where the IC3 Conference seeks to make a major impact in enabling school leaders to set up infrastructure and policies to guide students to choose and succeed in careers that best fit their ambitions and interests.
“We are living the dream to impact hundreds of thousands of students around the world”, said Ganesh Kohli, IC3 ConferenceChairand also a well-renowned educator for the past 20 years. “A sound college and career counseling setup is as essential as a Maths or an English department in a school. It is critical for young people to make the right career choices to ensure their happiness and success later in life”. The conference is being led by a group of 27 high school counselors and principals from India and Southeast Asia, representing 17 cities from 5 countries.
With over 3,00,000 Indian students who study around the world, global universities recognize the importance of engaging with India and will be attending the conference in large numbers. “School counselors understand the abilities, needs, and goals of students, on multiple planes. A counselor’s input as liaison, and sometimes advocate cannot be overstated. Indiana University looks forward to seeing many of Asia’s leading schools at the IC3 Conference”, said John Wilkerson, Director of International Admissions at Indiana University Bloomington.
The keynote address at the conference will be delivered by Kiran Bir Sethi, well-renowned educator and Ted speaker, who founded the Riverside School in Ahmedabad. In 2009, she founded “Design for Change” (DFC) the world’s largest movement of change, of and by children. DFC is in over 30 countries, impacting 25 million children. In March 2015, she was amongst the Top 10 Educators, nominated for the Global Teacher Prize. Amongst other renowned speakers at the conference will also be award-winning film producer and director Mansoor Khan, widely known for directing superhit films including Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak and Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar. Educated at Cornell and MIT, Mansoor Khan will speak about “The Third Curve,” offering insights from his recent book and drawing implications for educators at the conference.
With many Indian universities emerging as high quality alternatives to going abroad, the conference will also showcase some of the leading institutions in India. Notable amongst the universities participating are O.P. Jindal Global University, VIT University and Hindustan University. High schools leaders can register for $50 and university leaders can register for $800.
Amongst the notable partners of the event is the College Board, a non-profit membership association that is made up of over 6,000 of the world’s leading educational institutions. Well known for administering the SAT test, each year the College Board helps more than seven million students prepare for a successful transition to college. “With the dynamic nature of international university admissions, it’s important for the school communities to share insights, experience and expertise and to learn continually from one another. That’s precisely what we hope to contribute towards at the IC3 Conference. The College Board is excited to help advance the dialogue of counseling best practices in India and around the world,” said Clay Hensley, Senior Director of International Strategy at the College Board.
Current projections are that India will have surplus graduates by 2020. While this presents a significant opportunity, we will need to have world-class standards to be recognized as the global hub of skilled talent. “The IC3 Conference is a key initiative which will take us closer to this goal,” said Kohli.
The IC3 conference is being co-hosted by KIC UnivAssist, a leader in global engagement for higher education institutions. It connects institutions with students who want to pursue higher studies in the U.S. KIC UnivAssist aspires to transform the lives of students through advising, and to help them find success through best-fit institutions.