Week 2: The Role of the University in the 21st Century

Universities in the 21st century are in charge for a lot of the movement and advancement of society. Given the fact that universities are subjected to all the change that society is subjected to, they also catalyze changes that influence the nation and the world. As stated in Atikson et. al’s “Research Universities: Core of the US Science and Technology Program”, World War II is what began bringing light on the importance of universities. That they help innovate technology. From then on, universities have significantly sparkled on their own, and have been a shining light.

Examining the history of Virginia Tech has been inspiring, to see how much positive change VT hasĀ  gone through. In less than 200 years, Virginia Tech has come long ways. In my opinion, I think this helped society to get accustomed for example to women being in schools, for example. At the time, it took effort and energy, but I’m certain it influenced how society is today. So I truly believe that the university plays pivotal roles in society, research, literacy, and education. Universities are also a guiding light for students. Virginia Tech today, is a leader in technology, and innovation. The innovation is a guide both socially and academically to the world.

In the 2013 Time Summit, the esteemed panel shed light on the importance of higher education catering to the needs of students. Realizing that students aren’t always the traditional 18-22 years old age group. Realizing, that due to the fact a smaller percentage of people get higher education degrees, that universities should have a role in increasing the amounts of degrees/certifications necessary. In addition, the professors also shed light on the importance of also mentoring undergraduate students, and choosing them carefully in the best field that suites them. This is necessary to fill the student body with enthusiasm and excitement. I was also inspired by the idea, that universities should consider having high rise buildings. This is because, as land gets expensive, it is a decent idea to optimize the amount of square footage and leverage it in the best way possible. At the same time, it is necessary not to overlook the importance of having strong faculty, who are readily interested in the best of their students, and the best of their research. I believe the 21st century is already successful in having great professors. At the same time, it is also necessary to strengthen research and research opportunities, for the sake of leading technology. This includes, helping universities access greater resources.

The purposes of the universities align greatly with my views and goals as an individual. Being that I’d like to support the innovation in research and technology, and being that I’d like to be the change I wish to see. Being in a university environment is really rejuvenating, and helps one become a better research. It helps one be in touch with the arising issues nationally, to effect and influence society in the best ways possible. Gaining a higher education degree in an environment like this allows one to have great knowledge and a skill set to support greater innovation. It allows one to be both a good candidate for industry or academia. At the same time, one is constantly in touch with the world, and what is to come.

I’d like to close on one final note. It’s amazing how in the Time Summit, it was mentioned that there weren’t competitors threatening our lead in academics, presently in the US. However, the more we innovate, and the more we are becoming better and better at what we do… The more we accelerate. And the more it’s difficult for anyone to have a lead on our educational statuses.