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Digital divide: Universities not equipping students for 21st-century workplace


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Digital divide: Universities not equipping students for 21st-century workplace

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More than 1,500 opinion leaders, teachers and students at the WISE summit in Doha have been discussing some of the key issues of education, such as financing learning, innovation in schools and the future of education.

“Experts are agreed that teaching will become more interactive and digital, there’ll be less schoolbooks and more software. What’s more, universities and business need to work closer together,” said our correspondent at the summit, Andrea Buring.

A complaint companies often have is that students aren’t equipped with the necessary skills for the 21st-century workplace.

“Today universities are running late when it comes to 21st century skills,” Benjamin Vedrenne-Cloquet CEO of EdTech Europe told euronews. “Competences such as coding and programming are key. Too few students master these techniques. This is a real challenge.”

Could do better

Letizia Moratti, Italy’s former Education Minister believes universities need to to more: “Universities are not really helping students to understand the working landscape. And a better link between the professional world and university is needed.”

So how do we bridge the gap between education and employment? Some panels brought together corporate and university executives to discuss collaboration. Modern techniques such as Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCS, could play a crucial role, said Dr. Jörg Dräger, Executive Board member of Bertelsmann Stiftung: “There are more and more students who are increasingly diverse. Universities are asked to prepare the students for the workplace.

“So far, universities can’t cope with that. But especially in higher education the digitalisation and digital technologies will make it possible to provide more education to more people adapted with the right skills for the job market.”

The consensus seems to be it’s time for education to catch up with a quickly evolving job-market.

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