Posted on Monday, January 28, 2019
Gone are the days when a degree was good enough to fetch a job. Today, one’s employment opportunity can be snatched by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robot. Thus, creativity and focus on skill development while in the university to stay relevant is the only way forward.
“Things like analysis, logic and calculation can be done by Artificial Intelligence (AI) or robot or computer, but creativity will still be a human domain, which we need to nurture,” said Pathik Pathak, faculty director of Social Entrepreneurship at Southampton University.
His idea of skill development is to prepare people to fulfil the need of world economy in time to come.
“Skills like problem solving, creativity, emotional intelligence, working across cultures, leadership are major areas of interest where we need to pay attention,” said Pathak in an interview to Education Times.
“We need people to address social challenges such as reducing plastic waste, making safer cities, reducing air pollution, making children lives happy and healthier. We work on problem solving in the context of global challenges.”
The university has a programme which focuses on social innovation, where students help low income people in Southampton. They create solutions and ventures such as a new social enterprise that solves the problem faced by the underprivileged sectors.
“In UK, a lot of people get excluded from the labour market. Several unskilled migrants and refugees struggle for work and livelihood. Our role is to create businesses in Southampton that can integrate people into the labour market, give them jobs,” added Pathak, who also work with socio-enterprises, NGOs in Southampton and India. They have tie up with a Mumbai based NGO ‘Safecity’ that maps and controls gender based violence.
In 2016, The University of Southampton in collaboration with IIT-Madras launched UK-India Social Entrepreneurship Education Network (UKISEEN) which aims to promote collaboration and best practice in social entrepreneurship teaching between UK and Indian universities.
Social entrepreneurship education is growing very fast in India. Internet, said Pathak, has made education cheap and easily accessible to all. One can get knowledge on almost any subject almost free because of the World Wide Web, he said.
Born and brought up in UK, Pathak is of Indian descent and has been vocal about challenge based education. Amazed to see the technological advancement in India, where digital payment mode is being used by vegetable vendors, Pathak said such facilities are yet to be adopted by vendors in the UK. “The technological advancement in India has made it a good place to start business.”
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