The nature of work is changing. Algorithms are replacing intuition, the highest paid person’s opinion needs to be grounded in data, and digital decision-makers are outperforming real humans in an increasing number of sectors in the business world.
What’s more, all of this is happening against a changing global backdrop. Neo-nationalism is competing with cosmopolitanism, our current economy is soon to be overhauled by Prime Minister Turnbull’s vision of a top-tier innovation nation, and our formerly specialised and segmented workforce is beginning to take a new shape with the rise of continuous learning and increasingly blurred industry boundaries.
So what’s the impact of all this on the curriculum, pedagogy, and the Higher Education sector as a whole? Contending with known unknowns is one thing, but as we enter into an unprecedented technological and geopolitical era, a multitude of unknown unknowns are also beginning to surface. If university leaders do not tackle these issues head on, the next generation may not be ready for the lives that await them beyond their education years.
Professor Jeffrey Lehmann, Inaugural Vice-Chancellor at NYU Shanghai is due to speak at the Australian Financial Review’s Higher Education Summit – 28-29 August in Melbourne – where he will use NYU as a case study of how a university can innovate to withstand shifting global trends and remain competitive.
Ahead of the Summit Professor Lehmann said: “We are responsible for giving our students a good fifty-year run as working adults. What knowledge, skills, and virtues do this generation need to develop to be prepared for the next five to six decades? It is our responsibility as educators to face that question directly, to ensure that we evolve in sync with the world around us.”