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Session feedback

Universities must help narrow the gap between the digital skills of students and their professors who did not grow up with the technology, panel speakers agreed at the Day two session Shaping the digital future – the successful advancement of students. What was the view from the floor?

Tauqeer Nawaz, Headmistress, senior school and college, The Crescent Model, Higher Secondary School, Lahore, Pakistan

“I was interested to hear from student speakers that their universities in Germany and Australia need to catch up with technology.  It made me realise that the future is very much going to be about digitalisation -- and that links to internationalisation, which is a key theme of the conference.  In Pakistan higher education was traditionally for the elite but now more working class students have the opportunity to go to university. Our students come to me for advice and I am here at Going Global seeking information for them about universities in different countries and what they offer. People no longer want to be just good citizens of Pakistan, they want to be good global citizens.”

Professor Pamela Dube, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Student development and support, University of the Western Cape, South Africa

“I think it was a useful conversation.  I’m glad it included the student voice. The obligation for the university is to make sure students get the basic skills and are introduced to a range of technologies because they are not all starting from the same point. We have students who, because of their backgrounds, do everything on cell phones because that is the only gadget they have possessed.  They don’t know how to use a laptop. This is my second Going Global conference, the first was nearer to home in Cape Town.  I’m very interested in international relations and now I have responsibility for student development and support the conference is even more important for me.”

Dr Edward Harcourt, Pro Vice-Chancellor (External Relations), Liverpool John Moores University, UK

“It was a very interesting session.  The students were saying ‘include us, ask us what we need, don’t make us wait. We may know more than you do about modern technologies’.  The problem it highlighted was that of having an older generation of scholars teaching the next generation of teachers when we are living in a time of digital transformation. However, I thought perhaps the session made a bit much about the scale of the change because it is not that difficult to teach digital technologies. It’s more about institutions being flexible enough to listen to their students and accommodate new ways they want to learn.”The role of traditional academic institutions is being increasingly challenged by digitalisation in the tertiary education sector, and the changing requirements of students and employers. Higher education institutions will therefore need to redefine and reshape their role if they are to remain relevant.

Session synopsis

This session asks:

  • how will the advancement of students at tertiary institutions need to change to meet the demands of the digital future?
  • what is the role of traditional academic institutions in the advancement of students?
  • how can institutions teach their students the relevant skills for the future digital and globalised world?
  • how can institution leaders develop successful strategies to meet the demands of the digital future and the development of students into future leaders?


Chair | Professor Angela Ittel, Vice President for Strategic Development, Junior Scholars, and Teacher Education Technische Universität, Berlin (Germany).

Professor Luke Georghiou, Deputy President and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Manchester (United Kingdom).

Professor Dr Setareh Maghsudi, Assistant Professor, Technische Universität Berlin and Einstein Center Digital Future (Germany).

Professor Dr Martina Schraudner, Head of Fraunhofer CeRRI, Fraunhofer Center for Responsible Research and Innovation (CeRRI) (Germany).

Mr Iain Watt, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (International), University of Technology, Sydney (Australia).