Akademia

The Education of the Future Will Be Hybrid and Multi-Dimensional

The Education of the Future Will Be Hybrid and Multi-Dimensional

Ángel Cabrera, presidente del Georgia Institute of Technology, nos expone las claves de la educación del futuro.

The Bankinter Innovation Foundation has held a new edition of #FutureTalks. This initiative shares with the Spanish society the most disruptive trends making a mark in the future. To this end, #FutureTalks engages with high-profile, worldwide experts.

On this occasion, our manager Juan Moreno introduces Ángel Cabrera, trustee of the Foundation and chairman of the prestigious North American University Georgia Tech. Prior to that, he was chairman of George Mason University and Thunderbird School of Global Management, and IE business school in Spain. He has gained a broad perspective of the university ecosystem and how it has pivoted in these times of unavoidable, frenzied changes.

To his eyes, the COVID-19 pandemic has been a very tough blow for the planet and an extraordinary watershed moment for innovation and the advancement of science in all areas. The world of education and academia underwent a massive test in 2020. This would not have happened otherwise: shifting from 100% on-site to 100% on-line education. It happened in a few weeks and with few investments. In other circumstances, it would have taken years and millions of euros.

The silver lining is that this test has revealed the need for structural changes in education, and it has triggered a tremendous acceleration of innovation. Angel believes there is no going back. Post-COVID education will never be the same as pre-COVID education: we must jot down the lessons learned during the pandemic, as well as the gaps and problems that surfaced, to ultimately achieve a new educational model.

You may access the #FutureTalks with Angel Cabrera below:

These are 10 keys on the future of education that Cabrera shared:

1. The pandemic has sped up the process to reframe education once and for all: it is in dire need of new visions and new commitments to society.

2. The role of classrooms and campuses will change: since master classes can make the switch to video—conveniently for students—the expectations around what happens on campus are different. Innovation will center on the use of classrooms as a space to debate, work in teams and socialize. New models to combine the technology and the space will emerge over the next few years.

3. The University opens to the world. Going to college and study exclusively for 4 to 5 years will cease to exist. The campus will become a place to recharge and reconnect, and there will be very many connections to the rest of the world. Training and on-the-job performance will no longer be separated. The companies that can offer more flexible schemes of this learning-job hybrid will appeal the best talent.

4. Innovative collaborations between University and Business will become widespread. Pioneering initiatives, such as the one promoted by the Bankinter Innovation Foundation through its program  Akademia since 2008, will become a reference for new collaborations that engage college students in real-life problems and the most innovative methods to solve them.

5. Degrees will change and become more flexible. The model will be less strict. Students will accrue minor certificates or micro-credentials and earn “degrees à la carte”. Besides, teaching methods will be an on-site and on-line hybrid, and a much smarter use of the strengths of each method will be made.

6. Universalizing universities through technology. Because of the infrastructure, educational models, and prices, the traditional model is simply not malleable to offer higher education to the population who demands it around the world. The model is not scalable. New technologies are the solution to reach out to a greater number of students at a reasonable cost.

7. Protect the ESSENCE of universities: The incremental pursuit of the truth, critical thinking, the advancement of science, pure research and deciding what knowledge is worth teaching and sharing must be protected, as these are the key assets for the progress of humanity.

8. Balancing the assets of research, reputation, and trust with reaching out to millions of people. Making these two sides compatible requires hybrid collaboration systems across universities and large corporations. Mr. Cabrera mentioned the recent sale of edEx, a foundation promoted by Harvard and the MIT to teach Massive On-line Open Courses (MOOCs), to the education technology company 2U, as one example of this type of development. This hybrid made of traditional universities—which are not scalable and must ensure point 7—and the private sector—which offers agility, capital, and technological innovation to achieve point 6—is where we will see more business models innovations.

9. The world needs digital skills urgently. Young generations accessing universities for the first time are not the problem. They are digital natives, unlike the professors and professionals who did not develop digital skills back in the day. In a world where lifelong learning becomes the norm, we need to bridge the digital gap.

10. Constellations of universities are created. Universities around the world, with different backgrounds and profiles, will join forces to support issues affecting humanity. A pioneering example is the University Global Coalition. Its committee is chaired by Mr. Cabrera. The universities therein are committed to working together and in association with the United Nations and other relevant organizations to support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In short. Mr. Cabrera says that education in the future will be a multi-dimensional hybrid:

  • In the way students learn and interact, across on-site and on-line modes.
  • In its business model: somewhere between a traditional university and a technological company.
  • In the type of degree: mixing hybrid contents offered through micro certifications.
  • Between learning and work, breaking with the silos from the past.

Feel free to join our next #FutureTalks, with Mª José Alonso, renowned Spanish scientist. We will delve into how biotechnology is disrupting pharmacological knowledge and what this can do for our health in the future. You may pre-register here

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