Are teachings in American university translatable across the world? That’s exactly what Professor Richard T. Wilson of Sri Ramaswamy Memorial (SRM) Institute, Chennai is trying to figure out.
To better understand how entrepreneurship is taught in the United States, SRM is partnering with the Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology to develop new curriculum. Professor Wilson, from the Department of Biotechnology in SRM Chennai, is visiting SCET and UC Berkeley in order to learn more about the Berkeley Method of Entrepreneurship, an inductive learning and journey-based approach to teaching entrepreneurship developed at SCET.
Over the past semester, Professor Wilson has diligently attended classes, participated in programs, and reviewed projects and evaluations conducted by the Sutardja Center in order to develop a suitable model of teaching entrepreneurship at SRM. More specifically, he is seeking to create a syllabus for SRM Chennai’s biodesign program, which will begin in 2019.
With the help of Professor Ikhlaq Sidhu of SCET and Björn Hartmann of the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation, Professor Wilson has come up with a set of key learnings that he plans to bring back to SRM. He describes the difference in the learning pattern in SCET classes, “In India, we teach students, and then they do; here, kids do then learn through real-time projects.”
He added that he is “inspired that students are allowed to run with their ideas, and are nurtured through that process” and that they are “learning a subject with ideas, and are not just told facts.”
In 2019, Professor Richard will be working with the faculty at SRM to implement a biodesign program modeled off SCET, Jacobs, and GLOBE. Students will be using the Berkeley Method of Entrepreneurship to commercialize research innovations in biomechanics and design. Going forward Professor Wilson hopes to explore the scientific community at UC Berkeley and help facilitate future Indo-US partnerships.