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Collaborative Programme Delivery

 
 
 

Collaborative Programme Delivery

 
 









Partnership between Open University (OU) and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), Delhi

Renewable Energy for
a Better Future

Global interest in energy which comes from naturally replenishing resources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, and geothermal heat has seen a steady, and in the recent past, an almost urgent growth over the conventional fossil fuel energy industry. According to a trend analysis from the United Nations Environment Programme, climate change concerns coupled with the recent high oil prices and increasing government support are driving growing rates of investment in the renewable energy and energy effi ciency industries.

Use of renewable energy tends to be more labour-intensive than fossil fuels and so, a transition towards renewable promises employment gains. Globally, it is estimated that about 2.3 million people work either directly in renewable or indirectly in supplier industries currently. The predicted growth rate of 16-20 per cent of the sector demands an urgent need to scale up education and training in the area to meet the growing demand for skilled manpower.

Towards this end, UKIERI funded a collaborative programme delivery project jointly conceived by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), India, with TERI University (its affi liated institute

"A blended learning approach, which is a mixture of eLearning as well as face-toface interaction sessions has been used to make this programme effective."

V V N Kishore, Project Manager – The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) University
for Higher Learning) and The Open University (OU), UK. TERI’s expertise in knowledge and training in renewable energy combined with Open University’s global experience in modern distance learning, resulted in a dynamic knowledge and training method in the form of a two-year, part-time Postgraduate Diploma in Renewable Energy.

The course is especially designed to help students gain the necessary knowledge and experience in the production and marketing of renewable energy technologies and products. Upon successful completion of the course, a student is offered a TERI award (providing recognition within the Indian market) and credit rating to UK standards via the Open University allowing graduates the fl exibility of credit transfer to other UK award programmes. This is helping facilitate student exchanges between India and the UK, directly between the collaborating institutions and between a broader range of institutions providing programmes in this rapidly expanding area of study.

Since the launch of the course in 2009, TERI has been receiving an average of 200 applications each year from India and neighbouring countries. The number of students selected for the programme grew from 22 to 50 by 2010. To facilitate Face-to-Face learning, additional study centres were opened, one of which is hosted and fully supported by the wind energy company ‘Suzlon Energy Limited.’

Realising the relevance of the project, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy in India sanctioned INR 1 million to launch a one-year PG Diploma programme for mid-career professionals. At OU, 475 students registered for the course, and 600 applications have been received for 2011. A formal recognition of the course from the Distance Education Council (DEC) of the Government of India is awaited.

Two main textbooks developed by the course team, “Energy Systems and Sustainability” and “Renewable Energy” were co-published by the Oxford University Press. In addition to their use among TERI and OU students, both the books have been widely adopted by many other universities throughout the world. The fi rst and second editions of ‘Renewable Energy’ have sold 25,000 copies, and it is expected that the new third edition, due for publication in 2012, will be equally popular. The collaboration between OU-TERI-U also enabled the publication of low-cost Indian editions of these textbooks by Oxford University Press, increasing their accessibility in Indian universities.

By sharing knowledge and working together closely, both the institutions now enjoy a greater understanding of each other’s and their own potential for growth. The partnership also furthered the UK and Indian Government’s commitment in the movement for sustainable energy.