I underscored that future university and scholarship will need to respond to the needs of a fast changing society. The fundamental question being, what skills, knowledge and attitudes will future generations need? What role can universities play to provide them? Will university education as we know it continue and be relevant to that society?
In sharing, I gave three points that I believe will shape how university and scholarship will look like in the future. This is assuming that the relevance question is a granted.
1. Era of the PRACADEMIC: Practice and academia convergence. We are likely to see more and more people choosing to be what is popularly called PRACADEMICs. This are people emersed in industry but commited to scholarship. Some of the persons pursuing PhD have no plans of working in the university as we know it and even if they did cannot be accommodated. Many will increasingly work in industry but want to research and teach. Further declining funding for universities will cause them to rely more and more on outside help that brings practical experience.
2. ICT Enabled Teaching, Training qnd Research: Its an era of just google it!! Technological enablement’s especially big data analytics, communication technology will and are affecting the nature of work and working. It will affect the type of research, how fast and efficiently it can be done and will introduce new topics for inquiry. Interdisciplinary options where all can access publications from other fields and this can enable them be more open in their perspectives to research and teaching.
3. Academics without boarders: Globalization, technology flow and migration trends are pushing creating a new type of academics, scholars and universities without boarders. It is no longer necessary to be physically present in an institution or bound in one space. The future will be such that one can run an experiment in one country while teaching in another and working in another. This means that students can also seek education and training from scholars on any part of the world.
This three and other factors not here mentioned cut against the grain of how most univesities operate today. Scholars in this institutions have to choose to survive or thrive. The later means they just get along and even try to resist this change. Thriving requires a deliberate adjusting of sails to take advantage of the wind of change in society.
Happy to hear what you think.