New Delhi: Promoting the New National Education Policy 2020 vision, which strongly advocates higher education institutions to focus on the holistic development of their students, a two-day international conference on “Student Engagement, Wellbeing, Holistic Development and the New Normality ”was inaugurated at Amity University Uttar Pradesh (AUUP). The conference is organized by the AUUP Ministry of Student Welfare to discuss the importance of student engagement, well-being and the new normal of students in higher education from current and future perspectives.

Main guest HE Mr. Hector Gonzalo Cueva Jacome, Ambassador of Ecuador to India, spoke about hope and its meaning for human life. He noted that hope is very important in this current scenario and asked students to work together during these difficult times. He also shared his experience of getting the first shot of Bharat Biotech’s Covid-19 vaccine. He stated that India will play an important role in South-South cooperation and how universities around the world will be the big factors in this new reality.

Dr. Atul Chauhan, Chancellor, AUUP & President, RBEF, mentioned that this platform will provide an opportunity to share best practices for student well-being and student engagement. He also discussed Amity’s mission to create future leaders and educate their students to give back to the society that creates a better world. Dr. Chauhan suggested to the advisors present to offer their services around the clock to provide maximum reach and benefit to the students.

Dr. Sue E. Pressman, president of the American Counseling Association, shared her views on “holistic student development.” She found that today’s society stress can negatively affect students and such considerations can support the sharing of best practices for the benefit of students. She suggested that students support themselves during these difficult times.

Professor Jessica Vanderlelie, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Students, La Trobe University, Australia, spoke on “Supporting Student Transition and Success: The New Normal”. She shared that education is a gift and a privilege that cannot be taken from students and universities, and that they play an important role in enabling students to fulfill their dreams and equip them for lifelong success.

Professor Dimitar Dimitrov, General Secretary, Council of Rectors of Universities, Republic of Bulgaria; The IAEA member spoke about the importance of holistic development for the students. He said that his university allows students to actively participate in the management of the university and the various measures that have been taken to promote their holistic development. He asked students to actively participate in activities related to their universities.

In her address, Prof. (Dr.) Balvinder Shukla, Vice Chancellor of Amity University Uttar Pradesh (AUUP), welcomed the guest speakers and reported on the challenging situation around the world over the past 10 months and how it is influencing students around the world has all levels. She found that supporting students remotely and actively engaging them in their holistic development was a huge challenge. Dr. Shukla added that the conference will enable sharing experiences in dealing with student needs during these pandemic-hit times and Amity University’s transition to online learning mode to maintain academic continuity. She also shared the support given to the students through the university’s 24-hour helpline that directed them to deal with anxiety and stress due to the lockdown.

Prof. Marshal Sahni, Dean for Student Welfare, Amity University, Uttar Pradesh (AUUP), gave a detailed insight into the conference and the various sessions that are being organized with more than 50 national and international speakers.

The conference aims to provide academics, researchers, students, experts and policy makers the opportunity to present and discuss ideas, empirical research and experiences in order to develop theories and practical approaches to meet the demands of the “new normal”. It also aims to develop an understanding of the skills required for full student development. Define the method of using research results in setting priorities for student development and develop an integrated system to create a student-friendly environment and meet their needs.

The main sessions of the conference will focus on topics such as “Meaningful Student Engagement on the University Campus”; “All-round development by students in the digital age”; “Definition of student development and its process in a” new normal “scenario” and “Promotion of the physical, social, emotional, mental and spiritual development of the student”.