Higher Education Reimagined
One of the many educational challenges Universities face nowadays include preparing students for jobs that will pop up at the emerging intersections of divergent disciplines, technology and cross‐disciplinary meta‐skills.
To conquer these challenging times and to better contend in a digital age filled with digital natives or the so called Generation C, universities must reexamine how they disseminate teaching and learning and set it in a way that prepares students to lead companies that adopt agile mindsets, develop cultures of learning, and effectively manage digital transformation.
Universities must be prepared to embed “digital cultures” within their programs by developing solid technical skills as well as qualities in innovation, entrepreneurial mindset, communication, and ethical thinking. These can give humans – unlike machines and automations – abilities to process and solve unpredictable encounters within the workplace.
Students should be able to develop multidimensional viewpoints by blending their major studies with different academic fields. By associating students over a different cluster of information, we put them on a way to illuminating the big difficulties of our times, and making critical impact.
Because continuous education will be one of the keys to the success of tomorrow’s task force, universities can do their part by producing work‐ready, life‐long learning graduates. In addition, providing exposure to the latest technology trends will be vital for all programs, even those that are not related to technology. Universities don’t really need and cannot offer regularly particular courses about latest technologies, but they should present students to the tech and give access to relevant sources of data about it. Universities must cooperate with tech companies, and provide students with a basis in technology.
When we imagine teaching and learning, we immediately imagine a well‐organized institutional context: laboratories, classrooms, auditoriums, and trainings. But today’s learning experience should be reimagined and must go beyond the classroom and include new hands on practices, new ways of education, and new opportunities. People learn indirectly through books, articles, games, videos, and conferences, as well as through exchanges with peers and tutors. But they also learn by taking on new roles, projects, and challenges, and by being exposed to various individuals, issues, and contexts.
Universities and companies must work together and progressively recognize that exposing students to real simulations and information technology is a vital and serious differentiator. They will build consciousness that digital disruption is inescapable and must be proactively considered. Only then, they can claim to be digitally transformed and reimagined.
By, Danielle Khalife-Freiha, Dean – USEK School of Business at Holy Spirit University of Kaslik – USEK
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