The international seminar on Innovation and Higher Education held on Oct. 26th at BBDIT highlighted the following points. Every speaker seemed to converge on similar themes:
- Education must promote skills for thinking (i.e.) challenge the status quo and ask the question “Why?” relentlessly.
- Any education has to also promote an ability to apply the knowledge acquired to some useful end purpose.
- Education has to be linked to some target industry or user. This makes the students work force ready.
- Education has to be project oriented. Such project and their execution is a measure of the problem solving skills of the students.
The Key Note lecture also acknowledged the above points. In addition the following additional points were offered for Innovation and Higher Education.
- At this time – in the 21st century – we live in a Binary Economy: A high skills work force creating and exploiting a stream of New Solutions (Economy1) as a parallel and distinct from a low skills – low wage work force (in larger numbers) employed to carry out well defined tasks to Replicate known solutions (Economy 2).
- All educational efforts to meet the work force needs of Economy 1, have to make the student (and later the engineer) more comprehensive in his/her outlook as a professional, who can identify, develop and deploy/implement a stream of New Solutions. This requires System Thinking and Transformational Skills.
- Such education on ST and TS has to be formal, structured and results oriented. Such formal education on ST and TS is a MUST, in order for all the academic education and industry oriented training to become effective and useful and achieve the end result of value to all: the students, the company and the industry.
- Such education for students with effectiveness will also be the differentiating advantage for the colleges (academic institutions) in the long run.