November 30, 2023

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The future of universities: Short degrees, mature students and networking

The future of universities: Short degrees, mature students and networking

University can stop representing a “phase” in people’s lives and start moving along with them Lifelong learning. Young people who have completed secondary school will remain the main recipients of higher education: More short-haul options, focusing on specific skills based on the demands of the local context. Flexibility, speed and cooperation emerge as key characteristics of university institutions in this scenario.

What will universities look like in 2030? That question brought together more than 200 university leaders from Latin America and other countries on the main campus this week. TEC of Monterey, in northern Mexico. carried out there Summit on Higher Education and the Future of WorkOrganized by TEC Institute for the Future of Education and HolonIQ.

The interval Between the skills provided by university training and the skills demanded by the labor market, Pedagogical change university education, Impact of technology -in classrooms and administration – and Future models for higher education The main topics of discussion during the two-day event.

The end of the “demographic bonus” and the aging of the population In Latin America, that means more people need to upgrade their skills in their 40s, 50s or 60s to continue working. In this sense, experts emphasized Universities must prepare to welcome students who are lifelong learnersand expand its “micro-credentials,” or shorter training paths, which last from weeks to two years.

Jose EscamillaDirector Institute for the Future of Education From TEC, he made some points about the relationship between education and work. “People are living longer, the retirement age is getting longer: we have to constantly reinvent ourselves,” he explained.

Latin America is the region with the largest skills gap“There are persistent gaps between the labor market’s demand and the training offered by universities,” Escamilla said. This situation indicates that the region’s institutions must prioritize Integration between education and workIt adapts to the local needs of its environment,” he added.

Jose Escamilla, director of the Institute for Future Education, opened the meeting in Monterey.

The aging of the population and the skills gap need to think about “lifelong learning, offering different pathways: An application is not 4 years, but 60Understanding universities as partners in students’ lifelong learning,” explained Escamilla Infobay. And, increasingly, he felt, “it is necessary to put in place lifelong learning programs.” At the same level as traditional species”.

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Maria SpiesAssociate Chief Executive Officer HolonIQAgreed with the plan: “Universities value microcredentials in the future They need more than racing”, he assured based on the results of the survey of companies around the world. As such, it is becoming more relevant than ever for universities, he highlighted Follow up with your graduates: Know where they are and what they need in terms of training.

This situation already represents a Priorities change in many organizationsEspecially in countries like Singapore, Malaysia and Australia, but also in the European Union, the spies said Infobay: “Most universities are always a Department of Continuing Education, which offered shorter courses and played a much smaller role. In the last two or three years, these fields have started to gain more relevance as they become aware of this logic. Micro-credentials targeted at job opportunities”.

For spies, the process of adapting to these new demands requires on the one hand “understanding what we already do, measuring it”, but also “getting started”. Discover the departments that offer short courses with facultySo there are micro-certificates that certify different levels of training for students pursuing their degree within industries.

The Institute for the Future of Education presented a report titled “Short-Cycle Programs: Effective Responses to Institutional Needs Through Educational Innovation” (currently available in English only). of Respond to the rapidly changing needs of the industryUpgrading the skills of those who have already completed university training.

These alternatives make it possible to provide access to higher education to segments of the population who in many cases cannot pursue a traditional degree. Therefore, short programs allow for “Bridging the skills gap quickly and providing rapid expertise to promote employment and improve social mobility,” Escamilla said.

Maria Spies, co-CEO of HolonIQ, was one of the people responsible for launching the event.

More than 50% of current jobs will no longer be needed by 2055“, he pointed out Ignacio de la Vega, Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs, Faculty and Internationalization of the Tecnológico de Monterrey. Therefore, rapid changes in the labor market will require rapid responses. According to de la Vega, we live A time of rapid changeEspecially from factors such as technological advances, restructuring of talent, crisis of confidence in institutions, geopolitical uncertainty and climate change.

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The challenge of continuous training is also central to the mission Deck gift, the university’s competition, brings together entrepreneurs from around the world around a challenge every year. The call is open Until October 5; The winner will take home $100,000. “The key question of the year is how we ensure that adults – from the young to the elderly – continue to learn and acquire the skills that allow them to have a better quality of life. The proposed solutions will be evaluated by an international jury,” he explained. Sarah SegundoCoordinator of the initiative.

Some representatives of Mexico’s public sector also participated in the meeting in Monterrey. Ivan Rivas RodriguezThe economy secretary of the state of Nuevo León emphasized the urgency of addressing the skills gap in the region and said education is key to attracting productive capital. Investment in science is a consensusModels from South Korea, China and India are repeatedly mentioned.

Companies invest in human capital. To close the gap, design Special programs and resiliency (Re-training) is easier than changing the curriculum of a profession, this process takes time and requires the approval of the Ministry or Education Secretary. In this sense, universities are fundamental partners in economic development,” Rivas Rodríguez said.

Economist also recommended Reassessing non-university tertiary employment: “We need more engineers and more technicians in Nuevo Leon. We need to raise the profile of the technician“Sometimes they are in high demand and can earn more than engineers, but there is no pride in being a technician.”

Alfonso Bamba Padilla, Secretary of Innovation, Science and Technology of the State of Jalisco, offered a similar opinion: “Not all young people want to complete a degree, there are a lot of university dropouts. The key is to provide them Training that allows you to take some certifications after completing one or two years. Universities must be open to the realities of today’s students. Regulations lead to a lot of inaction: It is not necessary to change everything, but it is important to be very flexible”.

More than 200 university leaders from across the region met in Monterey to discuss the future of education and work.

The speakers agreed The COVID-19 pandemic marked a turning point in digitization processes of universities. What started”Emergency Distance Teaching” to stay here. “Before the pandemic, we heard teachers saying, ‘I can’t teach my course online.’ Now that attitude has changed, and the concern is how to move quickly in the digital environment,” he said. Cesar ChavezChairman AP LATAM, a consultancy firm.

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Chávez pointed out that digitization goes beyond reforming the teaching system: Includes fundamental changes in daily management. “Now everything happens very quickly: if a student finds you online, they immediately register and start studying. If you are going to be online, it is necessary to speed up the registration and enrollment processes,” he said.

Today’s challenges also require new forms of collaboration. “The future is collective. It is important for universities to collaborate with other institutions and network,” said Maria Spies. I add: “The first step is internal collaboration: Sometimes people in the same company don’t know each other. “Collaborative learning is always talked about in the classroom, but there also needs to be a culture of collaboration among those working in the university.”

Faced with the emergence of new technologies, “Soft Skills” — such as collaboration, communication or empathy — will become more important than ever, experts agree. There were also reflections on the skills needed to exploit it Artificial intelligenceIn classroom and management processes, for example, in the design of early warning systems that allow Identify students at risk of dropping out and provide them with the support they need They must continue.

From a pedagogical point of view, “The Information literacy Critically evaluating information, turning sources, gauging the credibility of a text—will continue to be paramount. But more recently developed AI tools are already making the sources of their answers clear. So today is the most important thing Knows how to ask good questions”, were considered spies.

What does it mean to know how to ask the right question? Spies explained: “It’s a skill that means you can break down a problem into its parts, analyze it in its different dimensions. It means knowing how to listen. Being able to see things from different angles; In short, the university is an example of something it knows well because it has always taught: Critical thinking”.