Towards an education with capital letters

Speaking of education with capital letters is what society demands and what the university community is obliged to do. We are facing a permanent process of collective learning and our attitude can only be open, flexible and at the same time reflective, in order to navigate reliably in the unstable and highly complex environments in which we live and that require a global transformation from all areas, if we really want to bet on new development models.

Higher education and the university, as the main actor in the framework of the learning society of the third millennium, must reinvent themselves and also rethink new models with a global and international vision that is based on applied knowledge, innovation, the support of new technologies and digitization.

All this without losing sight of its purpose of training new generations in skills such as critical thinking, the development of ethical values ​​and a broad sense of entrepreneurship that incorporates its social component. With the essential collaboration of the business world and a long-range vision on the part of the administrations to face the great social and environmental challenges of the 21st century.

The great challenge of achieving this objective increases the value of what the third edition of the Global Education Forum (GEF) has meant for the Camilo José Cela University (UCJC), which has managed to bring together many of the greatest experts in Education, as well as to add to their contributions those raised by the true protagonists of education, the students.

The most valuable recognition obtained with this initiative has been bringing together a large educational community capable of creating that “movement” of transformation that has already worked, is working and will work to achieve the necessary adaptation of higher education to the demands that our society demands.

As a result of this continuous process of debate, research and analysis of conclusions, initiated in a pioneering way more than ten years ago by the UCJC together with the SEK Educational Institution, we can anchor the higher education of the future in four pillars: digitization, well-being, social impact and entrepreneurship.

In turn, the university that arrives will have little or nothing to do with the one we know today. It has to win back its space, getting closer to the society it serves, understanding what the new opportunities are in a job market that students and professionals who continue their training throughout life will have to join.

We transform the methodology, the communication with the professors, the itineraries, the evaluation processes and we also attend to the changes in the profile of the students; In short, it is time to reformulate the raison d’être of our universities and prepare them for the future.

We are already talking about multicultural, intelligent and diverse classrooms in which students from different parts of the world will meet, where it will be common to share experiences of international references, information and learning resources, through networks and platforms that will enrich teachers and students.

The university of the future will therefore be more digital, ubiquitous, accessible, flexible and personalized, with a data-centric management model and an open, interactive and hybrid campus. In which the physical and emotional well-being of all members of the educational community is prioritized with the active participation of the student in academic life and with a teacher who will add to his traditional role, that of educational and social advisor.

We have to form, among all the agents involved in the educational transformation, a model of higher education that makes the university a life experience. With a commitment to lifelong learning, generation and expansion of new knowledge valued by society and with a strong drive for the internationalization of research that increasingly requires transnational cooperation.

We are facing an enormous challenge that requires a joint and consensual reflection to be able to make courageous decisions that strengthen higher education and that lead this new university towards social leadership so that it continues as a priority institution in the formation of free citizens, with a critical and democratic spirit. 

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