Monterrey, Mexico. The two pandemic cents open the question: What will the university be like – or at least what it should be – when things get back to normal? It is the great catalyst for the debate proposed by the 8th edition of the International Conference on Educational Innovation (CIIE) organized by Tecnológico de Monterrey, one of the most prestigious universities in Mexico.
After the 2020 version, which took place entirely in virtual form, Tec has reopened its doors with reduced sting distance and mask. Experts, university authorities and academics from the region and the United States are meeting until Thursday to discuss post-pandemic higher education.
The conclusion that emerged on the first day of the conference reads as follows: “We should go back to a deficient university, which was not the same before Covid, but this did not happen during the epidemic either.” This means that university exists, university life, but it also feeds on experiences – many improvised but positive – that arose during isolation.
David Garza, President and CEO of Tec, emphasized that education, and specifically undergraduate education, will not be oblivious to the changes that have taken place: “The university model will move to a pluralistic model. Many have said that in the post-pandemic period education will only be online, but students are asking us to return to face-to-face confrontation, they need social interaction. Not all universities will proceed at the same pace, but change is inevitable.”
What is the plurality of diversity? The expert provided some evidence:
Multimedia: will not be virtual or exist. The different modalities will coexist in the same environment: there will be remote, face-to-face, mixed, synchronous and asynchronous classes. The student will be able to choose from this wide range of options.
multi-experience: Alternative courses, which are already on the rise, especially in technology, will be promoted. Non-university organizations will issue more titles that will accompany officers and will certify skills and abilities.
multidimensional: The profound impact of this confinement on mental health is also rethinking the educational purpose of universities. Garza said that the training is already not only for professionals, for successful performance in the field of work, but also for the person in an integrated way.
multistage: Traditional undergraduate courses, aged 4-6, will also be hampered. A student will be able to “come and go” at different times, even after graduation, in what is called lifelong learning. Another concept that has arisen is the concept of “re-skilling”, the acquisition of new necessary skills.
The idea of a “multiple” or “multi-diversity” university comes right hand in hand with technology. In the coming years and decades, the integration of devices and tools will deepen the dynamics of the university.
Immersive Technologies, like virtual reality or augmented reality, they will gain ground once they are naturalized, which will cease to be a strange experience. Artificial intelligence It will be used, for example, to perform simultaneous translations or develop highly realistic simulations. over there “metaverso”, one of the tech trends in recent months, which will allow an immersive and interactive campus experience for students who are at home, in different parts of the country or the world.
so called web 3, involving greater decentralization of the Internet and the emergence of the “creator economy”, will be added through the hand coding education. This phenomenon could mean that students and educators are in direct contact with expert content creators, whose work is rewarded with cryptocurrency payments.