Future of the University

I believe that universities will be more interactive and open place in the future. University used to be a secluded ivory tower in the past, where people only concentrated on their studies without communications with other fields or outside world. Nowadays, our society demands high-level communication skills and interdisciplinary thinking abilities. The problems that 21st century is facing, such as environmental issues or social inequity, cannot be solved without collaborations. If universities can provide the necessary educations for that, students will be well-prepared for social needs.

Responding to the changing society, many institutions attempt to open their doors to the communities and professional fields these days. Interdisciplinary classes are new trends in higher education, which bring up a real-world problem as a project and let multidisciplinary student groups suggest a solution. Through those activities, similar to the professional setting, students can learn teamwork and collaboration processes. It is still in an experimental stage for now, but in the future, common curriculum for last two years of college of graduate school might be evolved into problem-based learning.

Along with the movement toward interdisciplinary education, faculty will need to show new qualifications for mentoring students. Academic research or publications with limited academic groups would not be sufficient to provide realistic advice on students’ projects. Interacting experiences with professionals and community members outside academia will help the faculty to be equipped for the new education trends. One remark is that the interdisciplinary environment of the future will still require high level of knowledge in a specific field. That is to say, the students or faculty members should have enough knowledge in their own area for knowledge sharing within the team. After all, the new curriculum does not mean a shallower understanding on one specific field. It is rather a deeper study on one subject, also, continuous learning and open-minded attitude in extra.