NICMAR University: Enhancing Architectural Learning for Young Learners

NICMAR University
NICMAR University

Architecture is a fascinating field that involves the art and science of designing and constructing buildings and structures. Top architectural institutes produce skilled and innovative architects equipped with the technical knowledge and creativity to design establishments that are not only beautiful but also functional and sustainable.

These institutes promote a culture of innovation and excellence. It enlightens the students and cultivates a sense of responsibility for the significance of preserving cultural heritage while designing architecturally advanced structures.

NICMAR University, Pune is an educational marvel that produces determined, academically competent students ready to face the industry and solve global challenges efficiently and sustainably. The institute is built on the ideology of treating challenges as opportunities. It crafts a student-centric environment and enhances the quality of architectural education through project-based learning, case study discussions, and activities to engage the students and kindle their curiosity.

NICMAR University, Pune has established itself as a premium university for academics, researchers, employers, and students by delivering cutting-edge transformational knowledge, empowering students, and creating future leaders contributing towards a sustainable society and community. To learn more about NICMAR University, The Knowledge Review had an interview with Dr. Sagar Malsane, (I/C) Dean of the School of Architecture, Planning, and Real Estate and Dr. Pankaja Bagul, Head, School of Architecture, NICMAR University.

Below are the highlights of the interview:

Elaborate on the journey of your institute.

NICMAR as an institute was established in 1983 by construction industry leaders (Indian Construction Association) to respond to the changing needs of the construction sector. Since its establishment, NICMAR boasts of excellent industry partnerships as over 200 companies have visited NICMAR University, Pune, for student internships, placements, and guest lectures in the recent past.

With a legacy of 40 years in the Construction, Real Estate, Infrastructure, and Project (CRIP) sector, NICMAR has spread its wings to become ‘NICMAR University, Pune’ enacted by Maharashtra Act No XXXVI of 2022, with the primary objective of specialized education in Built Environment domain. The university is focused on knowledge creation and dissemination in the built environment sector through the formation of technical schools such as the School of Construction, School of Project Management, School of Engineering, School of Architecture, Planning and Real Estate, School of Energy and Environment, and NICMAR Business School, etc.

The schools offer various graduate and postgraduate programs. The School of Architecture, Planning, and Real Estate hosts the five-year full-time Bachelor of Architecture program and successful master’s level programs such as MBA in Real Estate and Urban Infrastructure Management and Master of Planning.

NICMAR University, Pune, has established strong industry collaborations with several local partners and organizations, including Construction Technology Alliance Institute (CTAI), Indo Universal Collaboration for Engineering Education (IUCEE), VisiLean, YelloSKYE, SoftTech EngineersLimited, Anthill Ventures, PMI Organization, Tata Steel, Homepecked e-Marketplace Services Pvt. Ltd, Tracecost, Bentley, Bexel India Consulting, Larsen and Toubro Limited, Mumbai, CalQuan India, Aurigo Software Technologies Private Limited, and Bangalore – to name a few. These are instrumental in enhancing students’ knowledge and skills and making them industry-ready.

NICMAR University, Pune, has initiated several global partnerships. The noteworthy MoUs include a Ph.D. split-site program with Loughborough University, UK; academic and research partnership MoUs with Texas A&M University, USA; Daniels College of Business, University of Denver, Colorado, USA; and Wentworth Institute of Technology, Boston, MA, USA among others.

Kindly share the mission and vision of your institute.


Our vision is to be a global university that promotes sustainability, embraces enterprising values, and produces industry-ready professionals for the built environment.


  • Produce ambitious, academically capable professional and future leaders in the built environment, skilled in solving global challenges and transforming lives.
  • Provide access to educational programs responsive to evolving industry and societal needs through outstanding learning, teaching-learning processes, research, and an enterprise culture.
  • Foster holistic and global opportunities that engage students support their unique needs and well-being and help them prepare for future success.
  • Create a vibrant university community and culture based on our core values of excellence, inclusion, and collaboration.

What role does technology play in shaping the education and practices in architecture at your institute?

At NICMAR University, Pune, technology plays a pivotal role in shaping education and practices within architecture. Integrating cutting-edge technologies has transformed how students engage with architectural concepts, design processes, and practical applications.

Digital design tools, such as computer-aided design (CAD) software and Building Information Modeling (BIM) and digital fabrication have become integral components of the curriculum, providing students with the skills to create intricate and innovative designs.

Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) applications further enhance the learning experience, allowing students to immerse themselves in virtual environments, explore spatial relationships, and simulate real-world scenarios.

Can you highlight some notable achievements or awards received by your institute?

  • NICMAR University, Pune, received the prestigious award for “Best University with Industry-Oriented Programs” at ‘The Navabharat Education Summit held in Mumbai on 29th July 2023 by the hands of Hon’ble Shri. Mangal Prabhat Lodha, Minister of Government of Maharashtra.
  • SWAYAM-NPTEL recognizes NICMAR University, as a valuable local chapter with a rating of “AA” based on performance in NPTEL.
  • NICMAR University, Pune, has received accreditation from the Global Accreditation Center, Project Management Institute (GAC-PMI) for the MBA – Advanced Construction Management program and the MBA – Advanced Project Management program for five years.

What strategic plans does your institute have for your School of architecture and its future development and growth?

NICMAR has a tradition of excellence for imparting education in built environment. Bachelor of Architecture program is continuing this by offering a cutting-edge curriculum with innovative teaching and advanced digital fab-lab facilities within a state-of-the-art infrastructure.

To achieve these objectives, firstly, we aim to continually enhance our curriculum by integrating emerging technologies and sustainable practices and fostering interdisciplinary collaborations. We are having a large collection of physical books and journals as well as a digital library with e-books, e-journal subscriptions. We nurture creativity through explorations in our art studio, visits to museums and art shows. We have a lot of guest lectures and site visits too.

We will increase opportunities for our students to gain exposure by expanding our partnerships with industry leaders. This will provide students real-world insights and opportunities. Our Computer labs are continuously updated with the latest software used in the industry. We continuously investing in our Digital fab labs and our workshops for students to gain hands-on knowledge and a chance to explore new techniques.

Additionally, our institute is focused on expanding research initiatives and encouraging faculty and students to contribute to advancement of knowledge.

To promote diversity and inclusivity, we are developing outreach programs to attract a broader range of talents. Through these strategic plans, we aim to position our institute as a leader in architectural education, fostering a dynamic and progressive learning environment that prepares students for the evolving challenges of the profession.

How is the five-year curriculum framed?

Architecture is a unique blend of creativity and technology. So, we have tried to achieve a balance of both by creative use of technology to achieve Our five-year curriculum is framed to include teaching of the traditional methods in design and construction as well as the futuristic computational design technologies using AI. Students will be encouraged to think critically and develop analytical skills along with essential designing, technical & software skills. By learning the basics in the initial year, contemporary practices in the second year and acquiring professional skills by the third, fourth year our students will be ready for internships and placements in top firms as soon as they graduate. All students will be encouraged to be independent thinkers and effective communicators. They will be gaining professional knowledge and techno-managerial capabilities through subjects like Project management, construction management and BIM.

How will we deliver it in a different way to develop modern day architects?

Our students will acquire digital skills essential for creative designing and making technical drawings. They will respond climate change, emphasising environmental sustainability & responsible design practices. They will be specializing in Parametric thinking, Digital design, Advance construction, Real Estate, and Infrastructure projects, ensuring comprehensive professional development for success in the industry.