Asian universities should rethink how they can develop their graduates to fulfil the needs of the 21st century, said a visiting South Korean academician.
In a recent interview with The Daily Star, Dr Jekuk Chang, president of Dongseo University in Busan, said the 4th industrial revolution is around the corner.
“So, universities should expand their network with developed counterparts to learn about the breakthroughs in order to cope with the changes it [4th industrial revolution] brings,” he said.
Dr Chang participated at the 18th Asian University Presidents Forum (AUPF) 2019, held in Dhaka from November 22 to 24. Daffodil International University (DIU), in collaboration with Association of Private Universities of Bangladesh (APUB), organised the forum.
Dr Chang also delivered the speech on this year’s AUPF theme, “Future of Entrepreneurship Education and Experiential Learning: Determinants of Developing Successful Entrepreneurial Eco-System in Asian Economies”.
The academician said in the face of tremendous change, students will need to develop different skills. Hence, education will no longer just be about knowing, but will require focus on the development of skills and creative thinking.
“For example, an organisation like Google doesn’t require job applicants to have college degrees, they only recruit candidates whose experiences and skills are best suited for the job,” he said.
Citing the country’s challenges, he said that universities in Bangladesh can form partnerships for access to developed facilities of many universities abroad.
He further said his university had launched some books in 2014 and around 60 universities in Asia, including Bangladesh, have been taking the opportunity of browsing those books in the digital platform.
“I think, it is a great means of sharing knowledge,” he said.
Dr Chang spoke of his university and how they are looking forward to facing future challenges.
He said Dongseo University is well known for filmmaking and holds the Busan International Film Festival every year, generally in October.
“Actors, directors, producers and film crew who are directly involved in the industry share their experiences with students during the festival, and thus, our graduates can use this experience to be inspired and to enrich their projects,” he said.
Dr Chang added, “Every semester, we invite about 50 directors, producers or other film personalities who interact with our students, and every week, new faces come here and share their experiences.”
He said university students are fortunate to have state of the art equipment and latest knowledge provided by the authorities.
Dr Chang said the university has a division of digital contents (covering game technology and animation) where people from all over the world share their views and work together.
“After graduation, many of our students join studios in different parts of the world, including California,” he said.