As we enter an era of increasing globalization and connectivity, what is the responsibility of leaders to support the betterment of the lives they touch? How might leaders support the foundational needs of their employees, customers, investors and strategic partners—to lead like a humanitarian? Leading like a humanitarian means taking responsibility for how we connect our work—regardless of the job—to a meaningful purpose beyond growth and profitability.
The American Public University System is trying an emerging form of competency-based education with the launch of four online bachelor’s degrees that ditch the credit-hour standard. Hundreds of colleges have worked on introducing competency-based credentials but only a handful offer direct-assessment degrees, a more aggressive and controversial version in which students must demonstrate mastery of a degree program’s required competencies but do not have to progress through credit-based course material or be taught by faculty members in the traditional sense.
Although university isn’t a prerequisite for entrepreneurs, it can offer a hefty leg up. More and more universities are forming their own enterprise incubators – breeding grounds for fresh startups, complete with office space, mentors, funding advice and the chance to rub shoulders with students from different disciplines.
The University as we currently know it is in constant transformation. An example of this is the École 42 in France: a tuition-free school without teachers and without books. The project emerged as a result of the view of the French millionaire, Xavier Niel, that universities are not developing the IT experts needed by French industry with the knowledge and skills required in this field.
The world’s workforce is set to lose some 7.1 million jobs between 2015 and 2020, in large part because of automation. This according to data of the World Economic Forum (WEF). As more jobs become automated, companies are looking for employees who can work with coworkers to solve any problems that arise when the machine doing the job malfunctions. That requires “soft skills”: good communication, critical-thinking, collaboration and time-management. Now, schools that used to focus strictly on technical instruction are adapting curriculum to put emphasis on “learning to learn in the classroom”.
A debate on how universities should respond to the fourth industrial revolution saw leaders split between advocating wholesale changes to teaching to prioritise software skills and warning that such moves would render institutions “slaves to industry”. Despite the dabate, all leaders agreed that universities are forced to reform their curricula to cope with the coming new era.
When we talk about innovation and entrepreneurship in education, we usually talk about individuals: the creative teacher down the hall. The term teacherpreneur—referring to someone who leads from their classroom by incubating new ideas and strategies—has become commonplace. However, these individuals are typically exceptions to a rule. What would it take for leaders to create a culture of innovation, where a group felt supported and empowered to take thoughtful and informed risks in order to innovate in service of their students?
The University of Vermont, Burlington, which has a reputation as a party school, is trying to mitigate risk of binge drinking, and other risky behaviors, as soon as students arrive on campus. The school offers students a healthy-living environment to teach students to nurture their young brains. The program is capturing the attention of higher education leaders, including New York University, Tulane and Boston University.
Weekly Reviewis curated by Tecnológico de Monterrey's Observatory of Educational Innovation. With the highlights of the week on innovation, technology and education. If you require more information about a specific note, please email us: firstname.lastname@example.org. TECNOLÓGICO DE MONTERREY, 2017.
Observatory of Educational Innovation
Tecnológico de Monterrey's Observatory of Educational Innovation: We identify and analyze the educational innovation trends that are shaping the future of learning and education.
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