OUR GLOBAL MANIFESTO: WHAT WOULD A UNIVERSITY LOOK LIKE IF WE HAD TO CREATE ONE FROM SCRATCH?

MANIFESTO: THE FUTURE OF LEARNING

In March 2021, SEK Education Group launched a think tank on “Future & Learning” where 92 experts and students from around the world came together to reflect on how the university of the 3rd millennium should respond to the current society needs.

This analysis is an ongoing exercise, open to contributions from the society as a whole. As a result from this think tank, a framework for discussion was established on how universities should face the challenges that COVID brings along and how to reinvent themselves.

From this think tank a set of conclusions were drawn based on the major topics addressed: lifelong learning, campus infrastructures, higher education financing, the school-university transition, among others. These conclusions are summarised in our GLOBAL MANIFESTO.

OUR GLOBAL MANIFESTO:
THE FUTURE OF LEARNING

12 key points open for discussion to answer the following question: What would a university be like if we had to create one in the next few years?

  • 1

    STUDENT-CENTRED

    The university must be designed placing the student in the center, aspiring to develop a new form of technology-related humanism for a 21st century Renaissance. To do this, it uses an interdisciplinary approach, promoting civic commitment and fostering an entrepreneurial mindset through course co-creation.

  • 2

    COLLABORATIVE AND OPEN ENVIRONMENT

    The student learning process must not entail just one university. The university must be a critical institution that encourages the debate and analysis of divergent ideas and is capable of creating new knowledge based on research and scientific studies. The university must not be constrained by a single world view or a specific way of thinking.

  • 3

    DATA DRIVEN

    The university’s management model must focus on data to understand the choices of each of its learners and their individual context. Greater knowledge of the student means greater ability to personalise teaching and to anticipate learning needs.

  • 4

    PERSONAL

    This vision drives towards the development of flexible learning models, such as educational subscriptions or the modular construction of certified, stackable content that will making possible the creation of personal learning journeys.

  • 5

    LIFELONG LEARNING

    Nowadays it is necessary to be in permanent reinvention as learning needs to be extended throughout life. With this in mind, the university must adapt its teaching model to the life cycle of each student, its financing possibilities and opportunities for interaction with rest of the university community. It is pursued to be along the life cycle of each student therefore becomes a “lifelong learning companion”.

  • 6

    NOMAD CAMPUS & MODELESS UNIVERSITY

    The university campus must go beyond its physical infrastructure, designed from an open, interactive, hybrid perspective. Technology allows non-pre-established formats were new physical and digital combinations increase the learning oportunities for everyone.

  • 7

    THE FUTURE OF WORK AND NEW LEARNING NEEDS

    Learning models must be adapted to the needs of the labor market but also to the capacities and interests of students and the demands of our society. The colaboration between universities and enterprises becomes more fluid and symbolic, ensuring co-designed and co-teached courses favouring student participation in the professional sphere.

  • 8

    NEW TEACHING AND LEARNING ROLES

    With new needs and innovative learning models, new professional profiles are also arising. The progress in learning sciences highlights the importance of excellence in teaching to deliver a transformative learning experience. Besides, the need for cross-disciplinary research to address society’s greatest challenges is recommended.

  • 9

    TESTING AND EXPERIMENTATION AREAS

    Universities will have to develop an entrepreneurial mindset, testing disruptive and innovative models, scaling and sharing successes, and learning from mistakes. The creation of testing and experimentation areas facilitates the implementation of agile pilot projects, measuring their impact and analyzing results.

  • 10

    WELLBEING AND BALANCE

    The physical and emotional WELLBEING of all members of the learning community becomes a priority. A comprehensive approach is necessary, one in which healthy behaviors that provide emotional balance and physical WELLBEING are learned, shared and practiced.

  • 11

    SOCIAL COMMITMENT

    The new university adapts to the commitment of contributing to a more sustainable future through programmes which promote social innovation, a circular economy, values of equity and diversity, and the preservation of the environment.

  • 12

    FREE AND CRITICAL THINKING

    The university must be a critical institution that encourages the debate and analysis of divergent ideas. It is capable of creating new knowledge based on research and scientific studies. The university must not be constrained to a single and specific manner of thinking.

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