FLAME Showcase: Interview with Dr. Devi Singh, Vice-Chancellor For FLAME

Ques 1. With your experience at FLAME University for nearly 3 years, what have you recognized as the core strength of FLAME University? 

Ans: FLAME University has been the pioneer of liberal education in the country. FLAME took the plunge in this field when many in the country hadn’t even thought about it. FLAME University has contributed greatly to the growing understanding amongst parents and students of the need for a liberal education. We believe in providing an education which is wholesome for student development and is not merely a means to their finding suitable jobs.

The faculty members at FLAME, all experts in their fields, are dedicated to guiding students at every step, and our highly enviable teacher-student ratio makes this a reality.

Our vast, highly modern and technologically advanced campus creates a learning and living environment like no other. FLAME is a platform where the best of teaching and learning experiences converge to create inquiring minds working together to build a deeper knowledge of the world and a better future for all of us.

From my experience at the university, I am absolutely sure that the students that join this university for a liberal arts education opt for this as their preferred choice.

Ques 2. With your plethora of knowledge and experience, where do you see FLAME University scaling under your leadership? 

Ans: FLAME University exists to build an aspirational destination for students and faculty, to push the design and nature of studies and to create a societal upgradation phenomenon particularly in the fields of liberal education and leadership.

In the next 2-3 years, we will be much bigger in terms of infrastructure with a sports arena, an executive education set up and a collaborative center already under construction. And with student housing being built and the applications of students increasing rapidly student intake will grow extensively.

In the next 8-10 years, FLAME will be amongst India’s most reputed and respected universities. We will be the University of Choice for higher education in India. We will be recognized for the impact our teaching has on our students and the community at large. Further, we will be the leader in creating and disseminating knowledge in the disciplines we offer. With that, we will pioneer the advancement of knowledge in these disciplines.

Ques 3. FLAME University is a Leader in providing Liberal Education, how is it imbibed in the curriculum to empower students to achieve their career goals?

Ans: FLAME University has an individual-centric pedagogy that is flexible and current. The small faculty-student ratio, the ability to design one’s own course of study and the mentorship and responsiveness of faculty to students are the hallmarks. Individual and continuous feedback which is detailed in nature differentiates the student’s learning experience. This environment encourages the overall development of the student. Additionally, emphasis is on experiential learning. Tools like case studies, simulations, projects, and workshops are widely utilized. Industry interface in terms of guest lectures , Summer Internship Projects and labs like FLAME Investment Lab and FLAME Entrepreneurship Lab help students well equipped to face challenges  in real work environments.

FLAME University expects every student to be adept in the art of critical reasoning, writing and oral communication. Besides this, we are continuously assessing our curriculum and program delivery to keep up with the rapidly changing domestic and global environment. Our strength continues to be our curriculum which provides both breadth and depth of knowledge.

Ques 4. Having years of experience in teaching in various International Universities, how do you see Indian students in contrast to Students abroad?

Ans: In most cases, Indian students have been imbibed with traditional education at a school and high school level.  The difference between traditional and liberal arts education is that students of liberal arts education are given a plethora of choices and varied options of fields and subjects that they can learn as opposed to silos  that they are put in in traditional education.

Being curious, asking questions and understanding problems are basis of liberal education that Indian students are now catching up to. In the western world, it’s embedded in students right from the beginning of education. But since it’s a new concept, Indian students are more enthusiastic and appreciative of the opportunities provided.

Ques 5. What are the key qualities that FLAME University looks for in an aspirant for the Profile Based Evaluation that is followed for Admissions? 

Ans: The goal of our assessment process is to select best performing and well-rounded applicants who can contribute and enhance the learning experience at FLAME University. We have an internal assessment process which considers the following aspects of your application:

  • Admission Test ((CAT/XAT/MAT/CMAT/GMAT/MH-CET))
  • Group Discussion (GD) / Personal Interview (PI) *
  • Past Academic Record
  • Extracurricular activities/ achievements
  • Statement of Purpose (SOP)
  • Personality Profiling

We follow a sliding principle for selection, where we shortlist candidates based on their overall performance on all the parameters enlisted above. As an applicant, if you score below average in your entrance test, but your application is strong in other aspects, chances are you might still get an offer from FLAME University. Obviously, the higher the test score, the better your chances of getting an offer letter. Your chances of selection are brighter if you have a strong academic record, well-articulated SOP, and extracurricular/ professional achievements.
FLAME University’s selection process is designed to give each applicant a fair chance of admission. FLAME tries to ensure that bright well-rounded individuals get admitted to its programs.

An outstanding performance in the selection process may make you eligible for scholarships.

Ques 6. Having diverse experience as a Director for Top B-schools such as IIM-L, MDI Gurgaon, what changes have you observed in the Higher Education Sector over the course of time? 

Ans 6: With the explosion in sheer numbers, admissions to postgraduate courses in various universities in India, both private and public, have virtually doubled in the last decade. So have changed the ways in which society looks at higher education. At a more fundamental level, there has been, of late, an apparent shift towards better and more effective integration between teaching and research. With the spread of multi and interdisciplinary approaches and avenues through liberal arts education, more effort is devoted towards seamless co-ordination between the two. This integration between research and teaching underlies the continuous importance of developing a mechanism whereby both research and teaching augment each other and the overall quality of education. There is a general appreciation amongst students and parents as to what constitutes value for money as they pursue the skills and knowledge that make them more readily and fruitfully employable in a competitive society and economy.

21st Century leadership demands clarity of thought, critical thinking and effective decision making. These skills and values are inculcated in liberal arts education students as it is inherent to the student centered pedagogy and freedom and responsibility of choice given to students. There is far greater acceptance today of the importance and essence of a liberal arts education as the desired need for a well-rounded personality and defining career choices.