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Role of research universities: Fostering creative talent

작성자 : KAIST 등록일 : 2016-05-13 조회수 : 3920

KAIST holds International Presidential Forum on Global Research Universities at Grand Hyatt Seoul on April 12 

65 universities discuss reforms for the fourth industrial revolution 

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“With the advent of the fourth industrial revolution, the role of research universities is to foster creative talent. Research universities should practice student-centered education to produce talented people who display the initiative to define and solve problems, thereby creating social and economic value.” (Sung-Mo Kang, president of KAIST)  

 

“Universities must change in preparation for the fourth industrial revolution. We must respect every student’s individuality, and carefully monitor their wishes and performance to adapt learning programs to their needs. Accordingly, the management and organization of universities should improve to facilitate administrative affairs and support faculty tasks.” (Jacques Biot, president of Ecole Polytechnique)


“Innovation comes from research teams interacting across disciplines. The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology has established several multidisciplinary research centers, which serve as a bridge linking faculty in various disciplines.” (Peretz Lavie, president of Technion-Israel Institute of Technology)

 

Leaders of universities around the world gathered to discuss strategies for the fourth industrial revolution. They agreed that universities must be the first to adapt to changing trends, and must foster creative and talented people capable of independently solving problems and creating social and economic value.


On April 12, KAIST hosted the International Presidential Forum on Global Research Universities at the Grand Hyatt in Seoul. More than 120 presidents and vice presidents from 65 universities around the world gathered to discuss the social responsibilities of higher education and educational innovation through strategic global partnership.


The five major themes of the event were: ▲KAIST’s directions for innovation in engineering education, ▲strategies for university-industry collaboration ▲shared challenges and responsibilities from a global perspective ▲strategic global partnership for sustainable development, and ▲ global universities’ directions for innovation.


The discussions took place in an active and healthy atmosphere, and all attendees paid close attention to each session despite their busy schedules.
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◆ Universities must be the first to change for the fourth industrial revolution


Jacques Biot, the president of the Ecole Polytechnique, identified open innovation, new educational methods, and organizational changes as new responsibilities of research universities with the emergence of the fourth industrial revolution.


According to Biot, cross-disciplinary work has become increasingly important with the growing complexity of research. In particular, challenges faced in the fields of energy, environment, safety, and health cannot be solved using a single technique.


Biot said, “Research in the humanities and social sciences has also become a priority as populations question the relevance of new technologies, which frequently raise ethical or societal issues that call for delicately balanced regulations. The organization of research in our universities should introduce open innovation, which can complement traditional department-based structures with multidisciplinary institutes focused on well-identified societal challenges.”


Biot emphasized the need to nurture graduates capable of solving complex issues involving several sciences. He said, “We must make a specific effort to develop new pedagogical tools and new channels aimed at fostering multidisciplinary approaches.”


Lastly, Biot highlighted the importance of university reforms for the fourth industrial revolution. “We must plan for University 4.0, a university where every student’s individuality is respected, where their wishes and performance are carefully monitored via digital means in order to adapt learning programs to their needs, and where our faculty’s tasks are facilitated and enriched by processes and technologies providing transparency, efficiency, and satisfaction in education.”


◆ π–shaped education for expertise and entrepreneurship

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Sung-Mo Kang, the president of KAIST, emphasized the institute’s π–shaped educational philosophy, which aims to “produce talented people who display the initiative to define and solve problems, thereby creating social and economic value.”  

 

The mathematical symbol π is made up of three lines. The horizontal line maintains the balance; the two other lines spread out below. The idea of π–shaped talented people refers to individuals with a broad array of knowledge of basic disciplines (the horizontal line), an in-depth understanding of their major, and an entrepreneurial spirit (vertical lines). 


Kang said, “Researchers in science and technology may lack the skills and strategic thinking to translate their knowledge and research achievements into real-world values. Greater success is possible if scientists possess an entrepreneurial spirit.”


To foster π–shaped talented people, or scientists and engineers instilled with entrepreneurial spirit, KAIST has unveiled a new slogan: the Start-up KAIST Movement. 


Students are offered opportunities to pursue a minor in entrepreneurship and take related courses. Through the newly established Institute of Entrepreneurship, one-stop services are provided for all stages of business growth, from start-up preparation to global market entry.


Kang said, “KAIST teaches students to show loving care for others while engaging in research that teaches the importance of science and technology.”


Lastly, he said, “With the growing complexity of science and technology, it is becoming more and more difficult for problems to be resolved by one organization alone. In addition to being committed to their respective roles, universities must actively collaborate for a better world.”

 

◆Interactions with government key to the founding of more than 2,000 companies

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The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, since its establishment in 1995, has produced outstanding graduates who have founded more than 2,000 companies. The institute has created approximately 100,000 jobs in Israel alone, creating more than 30 billion won through M&As.  

 

Peretz Lavie, the president of the Technion, revealed that interacting with government programs was the key to success.


According to Lavie, the Chief Scientist Office (CSO) in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor runs a technological incubator program and reviews business proposals for technological feasibility, merit, and risks. The CSO aims to transform innovative technological ideas, which are too risky to attract private investments, into viable start-up companies. 


In contrast to the government, the Technion focuses on multidisciplinary research, and promotes innovative convergence across academic disciplines.


He said, “The Technion established several multidisciplinary research centers in nanotechnology, energy, autonomous systems, life sciences and engineering, and integrated cancer research. These centers serve as a bridge linking faculty in various disciplines.”


Lavie stated that the Technion’s efforts to foster talented people, combined with government support, have enabled start-ups to gain self-sufficiency. He said, “From 1991, to 2013, over 1,500 companies have matured and left the incubators. Of these, 60 percent have successfully attracted private investment, and about 40 percent are still up and running. The total cumulative private investment in graduated incubator companies reached over $3.5 billion.”






 


 

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