As we understand that education sector need to be responsible in educating future generation, we are obliged to look in more deeply the role of education itself. I tried to focus the topic on the higher education responsibility in educating future generation. It has been identified that the major roles of higher education in the 21st century are creation of learning society, life long learning, regional economic development, technological innovation, social cohesion, pure research and scholarship and public accountability.
Our core activities remain to be in teaching and research with emphasis on knowledge transfer. Strengthening links with community and the business sits side by side with our teaching and research activities. We are aware that we are in the middle of an extraordinary time of change, both in the exponential growth of new opportunities, rapid change in our environmental, ecological, social issues and in the restructuring of industries.
The rapid change is indeed inevitable. We face limited employment opportunities, little real economic production, a declining standard of living, a widening gap between the “haves and the have-less”, a lack of professionalism and professional honesty, environmental destruction, energy crisis and the list goes on for many pages. Our responsibility in education face a serious challenge that can only be met by dedicated educators , researchers and high caliber of leaders .
Dedicated educators and researchers are needed since higher education is known as a guardian of value, a house of learning, a house of culture, the nation’s conscience and the agent of change, whereas high caliber of leaders are needed to raise the level of systems and strategic thinking. When we carry out our core activities which much talk about the major roles of higher education, we have internal and external responsibility. Our internal responsibility relates to our students and our peers, whereas our external responsibility relates to society.
We need to create a learning society internally and externally, we educate our student to prepare themselves in life long learning, we involve in regional economic development through our research activity, we create technology innovation to be able to cope with changes and to be part in saving the planet, we enhance our social interaction to transfer our knowledge in contributing sustainable livelihood development of humankind. Our pure research and scholarship will enrich our students and society through our strong networking.
The public accountability is part of education responsibility in promoting trust, transparency, and good governance to the public. Education responsibility in learning is to enrich our future generations with up to date curriculum, good learning process both in the class and outside the class, train them in the many critical and non technical skills that are required to day, educate them to value service to the global community and consider the social, economic and environmental limitations of developing world.
In research, we are responsible to educate future generations to learn the professional standard and ethical values, to be knowledgeable of the organisms and their variants that might pose a biological hazard, to look in more details at various competing views and values dealing with the cause of pollution , environmental degradation and their relative contribution to a deteriorating quality of life, to evaluate the best opportunities for the production renewable energy by using systems thinking and life cycle analysis.
We are also responsible to show the future research directions by maintaining the strength and alleviate the weakness of research developments which have been carried out such as in genetic engineered microbes, industrial waste water , renewable energy , domestic waste and water supply. By implementing our responsibility to help students learn, to prevent misuse of the discoveries, and consistently educate future generations to search a great interest in sustainability , I believe that a more sustainable future is ahead of us.
January 9, 2018
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