The third edition of the international meeting on education, Global Education Forum 3rd Act, began today at the Camilo José Cela University (UCJC) and will take place in a hybrid format until October 15 at its Almagro Campus, in Madrid. Experts, professors and students from Harvard, Tufts, Stanford, Freiberg, Tecmilenio, Coventry, Georgia Institute of Technology and Brown universities have participated in this first day.
This first day has left many ideas about how the future of the university should be, with education based on competencies, collaboration, public speaking, civic commitment; student engagement and student personal reflections to change the culture of the university; develop a global mindset, with new content, mobility, greater accessibility; the need for new ways of teaching and learning, with hybrid, flexible and personalized practices; new learning spaces to have informal learning experiences; the advantages of an interdisciplinary approach; community connections with other universities, research institutions, schools, international networks, public-private cooperation; need to meet the needs of a new workplace;
“UCJC has committed not only to reformulate its own teaching practices, but to rethink the purposes of formal Higher Education in the lifelong learning society with an international, global and collaborative approach”, he stated in the introduction of the Global Education Forum 3rd Act, Emilio Lora-Tamayo, rector of the Camilo José Cela University.
“By University we can understand formal educational institution, but there are also informal agents, non-formal agents. Every time we look for other spaces to learn, and the university must find its space and its role in this new learning society, in which we all see each other. forced to learn to unlearn “, declared Nieves Segovia, president of the SEK Educational Institution, an educational group to which the UCJC belongs. “The university has to understand what the new opportunities are in a new job market, which also presents challenges, and be able to maintain that relevance as an institution or reinvent itself.”
The UCJC has produced a manifesto in which it proposes a dodecalogue of ideas for debate at the Global Education Forum . This dodecalogue started almost 20 months ago, at the beginning of the pandemic, when 100 experts from the university world reflected on how universities should change, how they are changing now and how they should take advantage of this opportunity for transformation.
It is expected that 120 national and international speakers of world prestige will participate in this forum, spread over 25 discussion tables and 15 keynotes, and it will feature 31 universities from four continents, with national and international speakers of world prestige.
The voice of college students
Experts and professors participate in these sessions, especially with the voice of the students to discuss the necessary transformation in order to find out which university today’s students need. For this, a Challenge and a Hackathon have been organized in which more than 700 students from different universities around the world and more than 300 colleges and institutes from the five continents have participated.
Students expressed the need for a student-centered university model , with lifelong learning, with “nomadic” centers and variable settings, with new teaching and learning roles, with areas of experimentation, and with free and critical thinking.
University students demand that digitization be the common umbrella for all actors: professors, students and study plans, that external aid be implemented for specialization, that common spaces be created to solve problems, and that they be in permanent contact with international institutions, to find out what is happening and how other universities are evolving.
The change of the university
The first day of the Global Education Forum had an exceptional guest, Professor Richard J. Light, professor at the Graduate School of Education and at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University for 40 years and co-organizer of the forum , which in the panel “The change from a good to excellent university: small steps to achieve sustained excellence”, has highlighted the importance of student demands in the future of higher education, through global thinking and assimilation of new ways of learning.
During the meeting, Professor Light pointed out five ideas that will change the future of all universities : the new role of the student, as an active participant in academic life, and of the professor, as an educational and social advisor; the implementation of new forms of learning, theoretical and practical; a globalized educational community that responds to the demands of the student and society; greater social interaction between the educational community, and critical and globalized thinking.
This meeting was attended by prominent international presidents such as Professor and Dr. Klaus-Dieter Barbknecht, rector of the TU Bergakademie Freiberg and president of the Finance Committee of the World Energy Council; Bruno Zepeda, rector of the Tecmilenio University, is an industrial engineer and a master in Business Administration from the Universidad Panamericana and IPADE; Dr. Anthony P. Monaco, president of Tufts University, leading expert, scientist and teacher, committed to academic excellence, diversity, accessibility and inclusion, with a global perspective and knowledgeable about the impact of higher education on individuals and society in general; the president of the Hadassah Academic College (HAC) of Jerusalem since 2012, Bertold Fridlender, Degree in Biochemistry from the University of Chile and PhD in Medical Microbiology and Immunology from UCLA (United States); Rosa Menéndez, president of the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC), has a doctorate in Chemistry and research professor at the CSIC, and Emilio Lora-Tamayo, rector of the UCJC.
How does the university of the future have to be?
Moderated by Karen Sibley, dean emerita Brown University School of Professional Studies & VP of Strategic Initiatives, those in charge of analyzing and discussing the future university were Andrés Pedreño Muñoz, president of 1MillionBot; Marc Prensky, founder of The Global Ministry of Empowerment, Accomplishment and Impact; Ian Dunn, Chancellor of Coventry University; Paul Kim, Associate Dean & CTO at Stanford University; Jane Larsson, Executive Director at the Council of International Schools (CIS) and Rafael L. Bras Professor and President Emeritus of the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Higher education needs to reinvent itself, that is a reality and a debate that has been worked on for more than 30 years . According to Ian Dunn, “there has been a long period of transition and now we have to reach a democratization of the university. And this democratization will only come from the hand of technology, the pedagogy of continuous learning and the possibility of doing that learning remotely, from anywhere. But it also takes a lot of experimentation and lots of opportunities for conversation. ”
It was precisely on this adaptation to the personal rhythm that Andrés Pedreño influenced that, in his opinion, “if higher education were more personalized and more in line with the abilities of each student, student retention would increase, a great challenge in the face of the numerous current dropouts. This The challenge, together with a necessary greater university employability and permanent education, require more creativity, entrepreneurship, a hybridization of knowledge and knowledge for which computational resources and artificial intelligence offer tools and solutions “.
Technology is also essential for Jane Larsson because “all universities are interested in taking students to their campuses, but they are not aware of the problems that each student has as an individual, with all its complexity.”
For his part, Rafael L. Bras, reiterated the need for a professional and continuous education, “from the cradle to the grave”, since “education must not be compartmentalized, it must last a lifetime. It is necessary to know the demands of the world. , how the nature of work is changing, question what is done, why it is done and for whom it is done and adapt to all of this. Without forgetting to give a voice to the students who want to play an important role in their education, and that their education has social relevance, contributes to economic development and favors environmental sustainability “.
The student should be the protagonist, but for Marc Prenski “we have almost lost the opportunity to also link all higher education to learning. Teachers have to live a permanent education process. They have to internalize that their role is not only to teach , we all have to learn. ”
Among all the interventions, the characteristics that the university of the future should have were mentioned : the university of great access, accessible education, affordable education, continuous learning, specialization, global vision of theoretical and practical teaching, virtual and face-to-face learning, use of artificial intelligence for process automation for management, to achieve greater student retention, higher teaching quality achieved through knowledge of data and individualization, sustainable model; social commitment, mentality conducive to technology for the treatment and generation of data, commitment to lifelong learning and expansion of knowledge. In short, a higher education that makes university a life experience.
Tomorrow’s day, October 14, will feature four fundamental itineraries of the Manifesto and the Forum itself: Entrepreneurship, Well-being, Social Impact and Digitization.