Many people have fond memories of their university days – the first time they were away from home, the first time they met their classmates, the first time they became friends, the first time they sang at a student union bar karaoke. But for many, student life is changing.
In the past, most students entered higher education in their late teens or early 20’s, but now many are studying far away rather than on campus.
Many of our students are now in their late 30s and early 40s. Instead of going in and out of lecture theaters and university libraries, they learn online at the same time to fulfill their busy lives, which allows them to take care of their work, childcare, or elderly parents.
A.D. By 2030, such “non-traditional” students are predicted to pass on campus-based students. That growth is partially driven by businesses that want to improve their skills or already help them with their career goals and develop their employees when the labor market changes.
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Those non-traditional students will be at the heart of the upcoming Skills Conference on December 8, 2020 in Dubai. Our daily event brings together experts from around the world to discuss new ways for students. Learning, as well as skills required in future careers and industries.
We discuss learning with purpose – a lesson in coping with the dangers of the world, coping with debilitating illnesses such as climate change and dementia. We will also look at skills, entrepreneurial thinking, and lifelong learning to help our human resources grow into a global economy.
Speakers at the event will be expanding our reach around the world with Datuk Yasmin Mahmoud, the Malaysian Digital Economy’s “Ambassador” and the newly-appointed President of the University of Malaysia, Herriot Wat University.
Other participants include Caled Ismail and Allison Watson, the founder and CEO of Tetra Park, a social enterprise and food packaging company that has been educating young people about the construction industry since 2009.
During the conference, we will be launching our new Heriot-Watt Online course, which will open the way for thousands of people around the world to learn. This is not just about learning online; These are courses designed with businesses to fill current and future skill gaps.
Courses offered by Herriot Wat Online vary from Master’s degree in data analysis, digital transformation and supply chain management and logistics to bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Our University has a long history of teaching online MBA in 160 countries for the past 20 years.
In the coming years, we aim to launch another 20 master’s degree courses, including Business Psychology, Sustainable Future, and Transition. These courses will help students develop the skills they need for their current job but will prepare them for future roles.
This is where Scotland leads the world, and there is a growing economic opportunity for our people. The global online degree market is estimated at 36 27bn () 27bn) in 2019 and is expected to double its value to nearly $ 74 billion by 2025, according to Education Market Information Agency Holognik 18.
The World Economic Forum predicts that the world’s workforce will grow by 230 million by 2030, with nearly two billion roles – half of today’s work – under the influence of decarbonation, new technology and growth industries.
Time is of the essence. According to a report by Coron Ferry Consulting, by 2030, more than 85 million jobs will be lost because people lack the right skills and cost the global economy $ 8.5 trillion.
Only the right kind of courses can be developed to take advantage of these opportunities for innovative research at universities such as Heritage Watts. Our great Industrial Decommissioning Research and Innovation Center (IDRIC) – managed by Professor Mercedes Marto-Valer – is leading the way in helping traditional industries cut their emissions and cope with climate change.
Our national robotarium is developing technology to help keep people safe by searching for robotic solutions to stop nuclear power plants, serving offshore wind farms, or exploring hazards to search for and rescue in the aftermath of natural disasters.
These developments in areas such as robotics and artificial intelligence underscore why it is important for our students – regardless of age and location – to continue to develop their skills. Digital technology has affected many aspects of our work life, and the next step is to allow machines to start working normally and to develop new skills to solve the most pressing problems in the world.
As the future of Expo 2020 Dubai Skills Conference approaches, our researchers and educators continue to develop the knowledge and understanding they need to train current and future generations of students to tackle the challenges facing the planet and take advantage of those challenges. To create. We hope you will join us on that journey.
Dr. Gillian Murray, Vice-Chancellor of Business and Enterprise, and Chair of the Center for Work-Based Learning at Hariot Watt University.