Higher Education is a stage in students’ life which prepares them for fostering innovation and application of all the knowledge they have gathered since primary learning.
According to UNESCO, higher education links intellectual learning with society's development by seeking innovative solutions for sustainable development challenges and other global issues. Its major role is to infuse futuristic skills in learners’ minds to fuel technological and economic developments.
The year 2030 and the decade that follows will be the era of automation and artificial intelligence. Advancements in various fields will transform the industries of agriculture, manufacturing, health, mobility and energy. Masayoshi Son, the CEO of Soft-Bank, stated in his interview that “every inch of the Earth in future will be covered with satellite networks through a gazillion of interconnected devices delivering data for AI analysis”. For an automation-oriented future, the vision for higher education is to promote opportunities for life-long learning and to create an environment of equitable, all-inclusive quality education. Institutions like GLA University have already implemented all-inclusive quality education to cater to the future human capital index as per the United Nations Development Program - Sustainable Development Goals.
The current education system stands on a threshold to enter an era of technology and creation. There have been gradual developments in the system with the rise of globalization; institutions have started adopting integrated learning and industry experience and the inclusion of cross border student mobility to provide higher learning and practical experience. But there are certain gaps between the developing higher education system and the 2030 vision.
The quality of education differs from place to place, as per the cultural and social circumstances. For example, in countries like India and China, the priority is to eradicate poverty and provide basic education to underprivileged children; hence, certain economic and cultural challenges also hinder the 2030 vision. Along with that, there are issues of accessibility and affordability. The transformation to a futuristic higher education would require various contingency plans to tackle economical and ecological challenges.
The higher education institutes like GLA University have started taking substantial measures to inculcate a holistic approach in education and research; countries have started collaborating to find innovative solutions for technological and environmental challenges. One of the major drawbacks of technological advancements is unemployment; with automation, manual labour is not needed in certain industries. To tackle that, new employment opportunities need to be introduced in fields like Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, Organ Creation, Machine-Learning,
3D Printing, and Information Technology and higher education institutes should formulate new pedagogies based on these skills so that learners can gain the necessary skills required for employment.
To achieve such a vision, international cooperation is significant as digitalization has blurred the borders and made mobilization convenient. The skills can be shared across borders, so to enable cross border integrated learning, the institutes should look forward to extending their learning spaces online. This will promote international cooperation and an exchange of skills beyond physical spaces. Higher education in the year 2030 will have a different dimension, especially in developing countries. There is a vast scope for innovation and creation, and higher education will be the focal point of tremendous growth.
A professional with experience of over 24 years in managing the entire business operations in New Portfolio Development/ Management, Business planning and execution, Team management, Product development/ innovation, GTM, Strategic Alliances/ partnerships & Service delivery.
Jeevanandam Jotheeswaran, Director - CFOE, GLA University
Academic & Learner Engagement Strategist | EdTech Consultant | Online University Enabler | Change Management for HEI