Bocconi University's Rector Gianmario Verona meets top executives in the frontline in facing the challenges of the digital century. Bite-sized talks with plenty of insights.
#3 - Cristina Messa, Minister of University and Research, Italian Government
The pandemic has highlighted the importance of integrating different disciples and “we need to mix as much as possible different disciplines in new courses and teaching to help the young generations to face a world with lots of complexity. To face this complexity we need something different,” stresses Cristina Messa, Minister of University and Research, Italian Government, in a conversation in the Executive Chats series with Rector Gianmario Verona.
With the EU’s Next Gen Fund and Italy’s Recovery Plan both pushing on research, the Minister believes “We need a research community that involves many actors, from researchers to private entities, and that research be transferred more rapidly to the world of business. All creating a virtuous circle.”
Looking at Italy, the Minister says “our society needs graduates. We need to work on the links between university and the job market.“
With regards to the gender gap in academia, the Minister feels “we need to help women to choose STEM disciplines and, more in general, help women find a compromise between family and career.”
#2 - Jeff Maggioncalda, CEO Coursera
The Edtech sector has some great opportunities for growth and innovation, a sector that is “dynamic and changing quickly” and that saw “30 million new users came to Coursera during the pandemic”, highlights Jeff Maggioncalda, CEO Coursera, in a conversation in the Executive Chats series with Rector Gianmario Verona.
“Younger students are more likely to look for an experience on campus, but also to do some of their degree program remotely, but universities will especially find that to serve working adults offering more programs online will be valuable,” he says.
A sector which thus has huge potential for growth. “Investors recognize how much need there will be in the coming years and decades to integrate tech into making high-quality education more available to everyone in the world. The world is changing so fast and as we go through our working lives it will be clear that going to school for just four years will not meet the needs of what we need to learn.”
“And investors go after opportunities and the money going into Edtech is creating more and more innovative companies and this will rapidly accelerate the digital transformation of higher education,” he concludes.
#1 - Anant Agarwal, Founder & CEO edX
“Covid19 has created some amazing changes and disruptions in education. With a huge impact on Edtech,” highlights Anant Agarwal, Founder & CEO edX and professor at MIT, in a conversation in the Executive Chats series with Rector Gianmario Verona.
And digital technology can now have a big impact on accessibility and inclusion, he underlines. “Education is a human right – everyone in the world should have access to education. With digital technology we can increase education all over the world on a massive scale.”
“And at universities we can also improve quality of education with blended learning. The new normal on campuses will be blended learning,” he states.
Whilst for younger school students, “a higher degree of in-person learning and interaction is required. But we must remember that these digital natives are completely comfortable learning online.”