Higher education must adapt to stay relevant

2 June 2015

Young leaders concluded this year's Going Global conference by telling higher education experts from around the world that universities had a responsibility to be more flexible to ensure their students stay engaged and emerge from their studies as global citizens.

Amongst the panel was UK spoken word artist and recent graduate George the Poet. He acknowledged that his time at university was a ‘transformational experience’ but that “the space of education should [now] evolve to accommodate for new ideas."

Josh Barnett, Students’ Union President at Cardiff Metropolitan University, said: "Higher education is there to push us and to offer us many different avenues to explore. Universities need to invest in students to ensure that they become global citizens and understand not just how something works in one place but around the world."

Tina Liu, who obtained her Ph.D. degree in Transport Studies and Applied Econometrics at UCL and now leads the Drewry China operation, said that higher education leaders must constantly ask themselves ‘what is the purpose of education?’ and that while university needs to be a ‘safe place’ for students, it must also strike a suitable balance by acting as a ‘proxy to the real world.’

A common theme was that universities must strive to adapt to remain relevant in to 2020 and beyond.

Dr Beall, our Director for Education and Society announced that Going Global 2016 will be held in Africa for the first time, with Dr Blade Nzimande, Minister of Higher Education and Training for the Republic of South Africa formally inviting delegates to Cape Town, where the conference will be held in May 2016. Dr Nzimande said:

"Every culture and every continent has a contribution to make in knowledge production and it is important to use platforms such as Going Global to open up that dialogue. We look forward to continuing to doing so in South Africa in 2016."

Read our full press release here.