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What should the university of the future look like?

Ricardo Mairal (UNED, Madrid, Spain)

On the Horizon

ISSN: 1074-8121

Article publication date: 6 December 2022

Issue publication date: 2 February 2023

9

Abstract

Purpose

In this paper, the author has tried to outline the main ideas in connection with what the author conceives to be the university of the future, a university that should not only educate people within the university system but also prepare them to fill specific job positions at both local and global levels, apart from necessarily providing them with the critical thinking and competences in autonomous learning that will make them flexible and capable of adapting to the job market and to a fast-changing world in general.

Design/methodology/approach

The author has revised some of the major issues that are going to determine the direction of the university of the future, i.e. the employment opportunities of tomorrow; the role of new technologies, especially the impact of artificial intelligence (AI); quality in higher education; and internationalization.

Findings

The author has also pointed out the importance of the technologies and the great role they indisputably play in present and future education at all levels, a fact that has been particularly and hugely enhanced and promoted by the COVID-19 pandemic situation, thereby facilitating and fostering distance learning. This is very much connected to the application of AI to higher education, another unavoidable issue of utmost importance for the university of the future. While these technological advances present a challenge to universities, which must determine which are necessary and desirable and how to implement them, it is, ultimately, our responsibility to use them, in an ethical way, to the benefit of our students. The university of the future also has to be of high quality, and this involves carrying out important and decisive action having to do with matters of inclusion, hiring policies and the expansion of international opportunities for all parties involved.

Originality/value

This paper outlines the main ideas in connection with what the author conceives to be the university of the future, a university that should not only educate people within the university system but also prepare them to fill specific job positions at both local and global levels, apart from necessarily providing them with the critical thinking and competences in autonomous learning that will make them flexible and capable of adapting to the job market and to a fast-changing world in general. Moreover, the role of new technologies (especially the impact of AI), quality and internationalization are also discussed as relevant factors in this view of the university of the future.

Keywords

Citation

Mairal, R. (2023), "What should the university of the future look like?", On the Horizon, Vol. 31 No. 1, pp. 62-70. https://doi.org/10.1108/OTH-08-2022-0050

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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