Prof. R.N. Saha Image Credit: Supplied

How do you ensure continuity in teaching and learning during the pandemic?

COVID-19 has challenged educational institutes across the world. The decision to close the campus-based education process came as a challenge to universities and BITS Pilani had to immediately switch to online modes of learning.

Fortunately, BITS Pilani Dubai campus had the system and capability to handle the transition, as BITS Pilani in India has been running technology-based degree programmes for more than 20,000 students in the distance mode for some time. The regular lecture classes are now scheduled through different online platforms such as Impartus and WebEx, while practical classes are conducted on online platforms such as Platify, Virtual Lab and Remote Lab.

How will students be evaluated at the end of this academic year?

Since we follow a continuous pattern of evaluation, several assessment components have already been conducted by the faculty, using various online platforms. They will continue to do the same until the last day of the semester, which is May 12.

Considering the health and safety of all stakeholders, the institute has decided to announce summer vacation soon after the completion of online classes. We have decided to open sometime in the middle of July to have a two week recap session of theory and practical lessons for the students on-campus along with the practical exams. After that, the comprehensive examinations of the second semester (2019-20) will be held. Exact dates will be announced in course of time.

How will COVID-19 affect the 2020 admission cycle?

Admissions at BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus are completely based on merit and the availability of seats. The entire admission process is online and user-friendly.

Since our undergraduate admissions are based on the merit of the Grade 12 performance of the student and not on any admission test, the current situation does not pose any serious challenges. Registrations are open for admission for academic year 2020-21. Only the shortlisted masters and doctoral applicants will be required to go through an in-depth online interview on the designated dates.

What makes BITS Pilani such a prestigious place to study?

We are committed to the highest standards of academic excellence. The unique broad-based curriculum, which offers several flexibilities such as practice school, minors, dual degree, electives and thesis options, gives BITS Pilani a distinct character.

The academic flexibilities are complemented by a host of co-curricular, extra-curricular and professional activities. Our emphasis on good placements of graduates have led our students to secure high positions in leading corporates all over the world. Besides, students are also motivated and mentored to become entrepreneurs.

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