Smart Pathways For Future

Higher Education 4.0: Smart Pathways For Smart Future (Part 1)

PART 2 Coming Soon Stay Tunned

The world is entering into the IR 4.0 (Industrial Revolution 4.0) & the higher education sector has to adapt itself to this challenging time through its preparedness to future-ready higher education, which is going to be ‘Higher Education 4.0′.

Changing Times, Changing Needs.

Changing Times, Changing Needs.

  The higher education sector is going through unprecedented upheavals & transformations, which is technology driven. This sector is in its transition state, wherein HEIs are compelled to convert themselves to proactive partners of knowledge economy & knowledge society through innovation R&D.

The world is entering into the IR 4.0 (Industrial Revolution 4.0) & the higher education sector has to adapt itself to this challenging time through its preparedness to future-ready higher education, which is going to be ‘Higher Education 4.0′. This trend is dismantling existing structures and constructing new once, which demands to engineer the system and human capital and all stakeholders. There are smart pathways & pitfalls for reaching to smart future of higher education, youth and society at large.

(Vidyā (Knowledge) is man’s unique signifier, a secret treasure. It showers providence, fame, and delight. Indeed the guru of gurus, Vidyā (Knowledge) is a friend in foreign and. Vidyā (Knowledge) is God. Not wealth but Vidyā (Knowledge) is worshipped by the kings.

And so, one without Vidyā (Knowledge) is like an animal.

The world is changing fast with at an unimaginable speed, content, and design. The future of humanity and nature too is being re-engineered and re-shaped in most unpredictable manners and methods.

The heart of change at present and future has two threads: one is technology driven and the other one is nature or environment -driven. The heart of change is disruptive, dismantling existing mainstreams and creating new ones. The life of disruptive technologies is too short. The many marriages of innovations and disruptions, divorces and remarriages are posing many challenges and even opportunities. In this most unpredictable times of humanity, how to get ready to face future and its unimaginable challenges and unexpected opportunities knocking at our doorsteps.

Challenging Times Ahead

 Unpredictable and Challenging Times Ahead 

This Paradigm shift is opening floodgates for innovations and courageous change makers with workable ideas. In this brand new world, Innovative and disruptive Ideas are going to be the real capital. The capital is no more capital. Ideas and knowledge have become a true source of capital. A human brain is fertile land of idea germination and knowledge generation. One monetizing idea can create millions of jobs and billions of dollars.

In this superfast “Age of Ideas”, we have to live and sustain. The higher education sector has to cope up to meet these challenging times and future. We have to revamp and redesign every microelement of our system of higher education. The conventional structures and practices of higher education will not survive in this change-driven environment.

As Prof. Raghunath Mashelkar has rightly said: “Education is Future and Future is education”.

Are we, our universities and our colleges really prepared for that? Have we changed our mindset and outdated systems? Do we have futuristic approaches and policies in place? Are our brains engaged in brainstorming? Are we going to think of ourselves as “always good doers’’? Then you be ready to become a Nokia or Blackberry.

In Indian higher education context, Takshshila or Nalanda universities have been a part of our proud history. Do we have the passion to rewrite new history? Or we want to submerge ourselves in the pages of history by simply ignoring to understand the ground realities and build our future in the true sense? All these are relevant questions which will test our mettle in terms of our sustainability and future readiness.

Many Problems: Many Solutions

Many Problems: Many Solutions

  Humanity across the world is facing many problems, most of them are man-made and some of them born out of nature’s fury (for that too we human beings are responsible to greater extent) such as floods, cyclones, earthquakes, volcanos, climate change, and greenhouse effects, deforestation, extreme exploitation of natural resources.

In terms of man-made calamities, we have wars, caste-cultural -religious violent conflicts, acute poverty condition of about 1 billion people, jobless growth, deterioration of human values, encroachments in forests, urbanization and diminishing fertile land.

Severe challenges humanity is going to face in near future for providing Food For All, Water For All, Employment For All, Education For All, Health For All. Eradication of all kinds of discriminations such as lack of social and gender justice, remove divides such as economic, social and digital divide. Therefore, the global community promotes “Inclusive Green Growth”(IGG), growth and prosperity with an inclusive & environment- friendly approach.

Which system will provide solutions to these many problems? In my opinion, only the higher education sector and it’s bright and well -trained brilliant brains are capable of providing solutions.

Is our higher education system is competent and equipped enough to undertake these tasks? Do we have our commitments for these larger missions of our planet? Are we not driven by business and profit goals rather than the global goals of sustainability of humanity and biodiversity, which are ingredients of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations? Does higher education sector possess the vision and mission in this direction?

These are the questions posed by present times before the global higher education community.

Education expert Francisco gives higher education sector a mandate as follows:

“We must think about preparing globally minded, internationally able, and locally engaged citizen. Higher education institutions must become role models as corporate and local citizens” (Marmolejo Francisco: 2018).

This type of mindset and institutional change is required. For that, we must understand and analyze the present status and design future pathways to provide solutions, in words of scientist Prof. Raghunath Mashelkar what we need is “Solution Engineering”. The essence of this discussion is are we nurturing students/youth, who are going become problem-Creators or Solution Providers?

We have to choose the right pathway for the future, otherwise, our future is going to be dark and bleak. Hence, we need to break away from conventional paths and develop new paths soothing to changing times, technologies and societies.

 Here, it is apt to mention views of

Duryck Schreuder, General Editor of Universities For A New World, Faculty of Education and Social Work, The University of Sydney

“Much of the fate of their [developing] societies will be determined by the missions and work of higher education institutions. Universities will be central to the building of “Knowledge Nations“, they will also be critical for the less developed countries in which skills and professionals are still in short supply. Special concern has been a reflection on issues of human empowerment through higher education-involving both generic disciplines and professional and research programmes, as well as equity considerations (access, gender, inclusivity, and lifelong learning)”

Let’s join hands together to solve these many lying problems in the path of the Higher Education System of our country. I will discuss further more about the best possible solution in my opinion and also about what is Higher Education 4.0. in next article.

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