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Higher Education

Insight into Higher Education


Dr Soraya Moore Coley - President of California State Polytechnic University, Pomona and the first woman to serve in that role.

"Some futurists paint a bleak picture of a world in which workers are supplanted by machines, creating a stark landscape of lost souls outdone by their own inventions. It’s an overly simplistic and dystopian view that ignores the fact that the thirst for knowledge and a willingness to take risks have always driven humankind to progress."

Fiona Godsman - Chief Executive of the Scottish Institute of Enterprise (SIE)

“If they get it right, universities will continue to be centres of knowledge exchange for centuries to come; creative, exciting places where people from many organisations and businesses can come together to collaborate and to challenge each other to tackle society’s challenges.”

Prof John Dewar - Vice Chancellor of La Trobe University

“Personally, I’m drawn to what’s called the ecological university – a university that’s deeply networked to the society around it, makes its knowledge resources freely available, and engages actively to bring about a better world. I believe it’s inevitable. It’s coming.

Graduates will top up the skills they’ve acquired during their degree with just-in-time qualifications that flesh out their profile and short, sharp training packages that fix skills gaps"

Lino Guzzella - President of ETH Zurich

“As knowledge is democratized, value-based critical and creative thinking becomes a university’s unique selling proposition."

Dr Michael Bolle - President of the corporate sector for research and advance engineering at Robert Bosch GmbH

“While even the best minds will remain mortal in 2040, they will live longer and their knowledge will live on even after they die – as avatars, their words and movements will be available to future generations in the form of ancestral portrait galleries."

Paul Hannon - Acting CEO at the UK’s National Centre for Entrepreneurship in Education

“To achieve any transformation we will need strong entrepreneurial leadership at all levels in our institutions and across the wider ecosystem to build a culture, capacity and capability that can thrive in highly diverse, uncertain and unpredictable learning environments where boundaries are ambiguous and amorphous."

Christer Windeløv-Lidzélius - Principal at Kaospilot, a renowned disruptor in higher education

"Helping people become change-makers is not just a question of adopting new technologies such as MOOCs. It also requires re-thinking the role of the lecturer, what happens in the classroom and the necessary pedagogical approaches."

Dirk Van Damme - Head of Division in the Directorate for Education and Skills at the OECD in Paris

“Think, for example, of the consequences of digitalisation for the tasks that university-educated professionals will have to do by 2040. Much more important than which jobs will disappear or how many alternative jobs will emerge as a result of digitalization, such as robotisation and artificial intelligence, is the question of the changes in the tasks of professionals, even the most stable ones."

Ben Conard - Founder at Five North Chocolate®

“I have high hopes for the university landscape in 2040. One where we don’t see entrepreneurs as college-dropouts, but rather one where we cultivate them as forward thinkers and great assets."

Scott Shane - A. Malachi Mixon III Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies and Professor of Economics at Case Western Reserve University

“So we are probably missing many, if not most, of the specific developments that will change entrepreneurship education in the future. But we are sure of one thing: By 2040, technology will alter the way we teach future entrepreneurs by connecting academia more closely to practice."

Paolo Bianco - Manager of R&T Co-Operation Engineering of Airbus Defence & Space at Airbus

“Following such a trend, I’d expect a new sort of university operating mode, where the university travels with the student, the professor and the researcher and iterations among them will be progressively more “virtual” as opposed to “in person”."

Professor Marek Kwiek - Director of the Center for Public Policy Studies at the University of Poznan, Poland.

“The university sector in 2040 will be sharply stratified: globally and intra-nationally. There will be a small ultra-elite league of well-funded research-focused universities, globally and in each country, and the rest of universities. Importantly, this sharp vertical differentiation of institutions will be accompanied by equally sharp vertical differentiation of the academic profession."

Dr Allen Alexander - Senior Lecturer in Innovation based in the University of Exeter Business School

“Entrepreneurial Academics are therefore ideally-placed to be the agents of change in the knowledge-ecosystem, where their actions can lead the way for increased interoperability between the parties acting in our knowledge co-systems."

John Goddard OBE - Emeritus Professor and Special Advisor to the Vice Chancellor of Newcastle University

“The pre-eminent universities in 2040 will be those that successfully balance their roles as players in the highly competitive economic development and higher education marketplace with their responsibilities to civil society globally and locally."

Dr Søren Bregenholt - Corporate Vice President and Head of External Innovation and Stakeholder Relations in Novo Nordisk

“I foresee that by 2040 mission-based universities will lead the global efforts to tackle these challenges, leveraging world leading research and facilitate collaboration across broad coalitions of industry partners committed to translating break-through science into innovative products benefiting patients, citizens, and societies globally."

Noel Lindsay - Pro Vice Chancellor – Entrepreneurship and Director of the Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation & Innovation Centre (ECIC) at The University of Adelaide, where he is the Professor of Entrepreneurship and Commercialisation.

“Capitalizing upon their accumulated entrepreneurial knowledge and experience, universities can position themselves as leadership exemplars for facilitating entrepreneurship in communities because they, more than any other entity, are in a position to provide a multi-layer value bundle to the communities they touch comprised of economic, intellectual, social, and cultural value."

Carolin Plewa - Professor of Marketing and Stakeholder Engagement at The University of Adelaide, the Deputy Director of the Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation and Innovation Centre

"It will be the co-created future that will be of greatest value to students, businesses, governments and communities and that will ensure value is experienced by everyone in the ecosystem. Only together can we navigate the ‘today’ and co-design a brighter ‘tomorrow’."

Peter Rohan - Independent Strategic Advisor and Program Director at Partner at Ernst & Young

“External parties are likely to be more skilled and nimble in the areas of recruitment (marketing and sales), product delivery (via digital channels), as well as student (customer) support, with each of these elements common in most industry sectors. Will Google, Facebook and/or Microsoft become the Amazons of the university education sector?”

Rajiv Dhawan received his Bachelor of Science degree from Simon Fraser University in suburban Vancouver.

“Governments will ultimately realize the importance of this talent and pave the way to provide them with citizenship, while the home countries will attempt to repatriate the best and brightest. Faculty members will have a lot of options and will chose universities in countries that provide them with a stream of talent and stable funding."

Arnaldo Abruzzini - CEO of The Association of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry (EUROCHAMBRES)

“In conclusion, there is a lot to gain from closer university-business cooperation. A more comprehensive, more relevant tertiary education would reduce the skills gap and mismatch, resulting in more employment, increased economic growth, and higher living standards."

Keith Herrmann - Director of Employability and Careers at the University of Surrey

“In this time of the fourth industrial revolution, when the race against (with) the machines will be the single defining feature of the future workforce, it is important that we design the student learning journey so that it equips our graduates for a future world of work, and not just for the here and now – not just the graduate job that is secured within six months after they graduate."

Rumyana Trencheva - Head of Global Channels and General Business at SAP Central and Eastern Europe

“Today’s learning is a multi-stage life approach, where we have to learn to learn, un-learn and relearn, and accept that there will be several cycles through-out our life with work-learn-change, worklearn-change, work-learnchange…"

Michel Bénard - Expert at Innosuisse, Swiss Innovation Promotion Agency

"Universities should take a more active role in lifelong learning. The interaction between a student and alma mater(s) should not terminate at the day of the graduation ceremony, but rather relentlessly continue during the professional life of the student."

Enrique Cabrero-Mendoza - General Director of the National Council of Science and Technology (Conacyt, for its name in Spanish) in Mexico.

“Bolstering the knowledge society requires securing an interdisciplinary perspective, relevant for all economic sectors. This is why the idea of short-minded and over-specialised universities should be avoided."

Prof Dr Klaus Sailer - Professor for Entrepreneurship at the Munich University of Applied Sciences and CEO of the Strascheg Center for Entrepreneurship (SCE).

“The change of universities from knowledge monopolists to places where know-how is gathered and created by a multitude of knowledge owners, shared openly and transferred into practice, will pave the way into a sustainable future."

Dr Dominik Böhler - Head of Entrepreneurship and Tech Education at UnternehmerTUM

“Entrepreneurship is on the verge of disrupting our way of thinking, teaching, and acting. It is not merely another university subject, but a fundamental shift in the orientation of a university."

Marko Grdošic - Project Manager at EURASHE

“Education should become progressive towards the society, and not struggle to catch up. Only then will it become the hub that develops students, develops societies and promotes innovation."

Steve Price - Chartered Engineer with a business education from Cranfield and Oxford universities

“But if physical universities are replaced by virtual, the on-campus population will disappear, and along with it the opportunities to practice the provision of these extra-curricular activities on which so many of today’s workplace leaders, as well as many successful entrepreneurs, cut their leadership teeth."


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