Higher Education 2.0

Divyam Goel
Divyam Goel

Education is something which as a young country we need to solve without any two ways about it. During our research, we spoke to many different stakeholders including the old age institutes, the new age startups, the NGOs working in the rural parts as well as the expensive IB schools.

Higher Education in India is a 70-year-old model copied from the 1850s Harvard model. The cookie cutter approach is not set to solve the local Indian need for employment. Most private enterprises are working on supplemental education either by bringing coaching online or by creating a visual form of textbooks. While some NGOs are doing a phenomenal job at the ground level, the non-profit model without the free market efficiencies has not scaled. India being a country early in the development graph means only a handful of its population can afford the 10 Lakh a year IB education.

It deeply pained us to see all these ventures, none however set to solve education in the country by tackling the root problems which exist in our core systems. We started AttainU out of this recognition that without anyone solving it it’s not going to get solved by itself. Our vision is to solve education in India systemically once and for all. Our dream is that once the core systems are fixed the undue pressure of supplemental education would not exist. The time and money wasted on the system by first-generation students would be put to more effective use.

We dared to operate outside the AICTE umbrella. We dared to build a socially responsible business using a deferred fee payment model conditional to our service working for our students. We dared to provide a high-touchpoint education. We dared to pay our teachers more than market salaries. We dared to do all of this online. However, we understand that education in India is about employment, is about a successful career, is about getting the right skills and not about a piece of paper with a stamp on it. We understand that our audience has been fooled for far too long, for far too much with ventures promising, but not delivering the promised service. We understand that self-learning optimized on the parameter of time does not work for the human species. Whether it is through books, whether it is through video, no matter what the medium is we as humans are not wired to have enough motivation to follow through on slightly complicated, slightly longer term courses by ourselves. We understand that the people responsible for shaping the future of our country need to be rockstars and need to be paid accordingly. We understand the financial burden of moving to a city to go through a training program and are building a model which is not constrained by the brick and mortar nature of offline spaces.

At AttainU we are building a skill first educational institute serving the needs of India. We envision an industry aligned college alternative. One which is adaptable to the changing demands of the employers. When it came to deciding our curriculum we began with the industry, understanding their requirements, understanding the missing pieces in the students they interview and onboard. We consciously chose to be outside the AICTE curriculum which is what allows us to serve the local needs effectively and iterate efficiently.

We recognize the financial burden of education, the uneven playing field and lack of opportunities for majority of equally and more deserving Indians. We have enough confidence in our model to be able to say that our students don’t need to pay us up front, they can pay us once the program works for them, gets them the skills and the employment they deserve. Through this approach, we are making high-quality education affordable for all.

Our main focus is on delivering value for each of our students. We don’t want any of our students to be left behind due to early optimization for the masses. We are creating a synchronous learning environment, replicating a shoulder to shoulder experience online to drive higher engagement and learning outcomes.

From day one we decided never to compromise on the quality of our teachers. All our teachers are domain experts with hands-on experience. It takes one to be good at something to be able to teach it to others. With this in mind, we are setting up a strong student first team of rockstar people passionate about solving the educational problem in India.

India has a 23% enrollment rate in higher education. Based on what has happened in primary education in the past two decades we know that this number is going to sharply increase. We intend to provide a high-quality solution before it’s too late. Going online sets us up to be able to tackle this challenge for everyone, making sure that career-oriented high-quality education is accessible to all.

In the next article, we will talk about the industry’s biggest challenge and the need of the hour.