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Newsletter - December 2014

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New Paradigm in Higher Education

On November 5-7, 2014 WUC co-sponsored an international conference in Almaty which highlighted the need to reinvent education to effectively address humanity’s pressing global challenges. A new paradigm in human development requires a new paradigm in education. Education is the most advanced and powerful technology yet created by human beings. Education is the foundation for the evolution of civilization and culture. These and related themes were examined at the conference on “New Paradigm of Sustainable Development: G-Global – a new form of global dialogue” co-organized with the World Academy of Art & Science and Al-Farabi Kazakh National University (KazNU).

The conference examined the theoretical foundations and policy framework for a human-centered development paradigm capable of addressing the pressing challenges confronting humanity today. A detailed report about the conference can be found in the latest WAAS newsletter.

A special session on higher education called for a shift from subject-centered to student-centered learning; from passive to active learning; from memorization to understanding and original thinking; from information and mental understanding to the development of the whole person; from academic and theoretical to lifecentred knowledge; from fragmented to integrated knowledge; from creating standardized products to fostering the development of resilience, individuality and creativity. A major objective of WUC is

to bring together educators and all other stakeholders. Everyone mus tbe involved in a process that generates understanding and offers effective solutions to the problems society faces.

KazNU’s Rector Galimkair Mutanov emphasized the central role of education as the key to promoting full employment, effective democracy, active citizenship, peace and stability, ecological awareness, technological innovation, and population control, for dispelling the myths and superstitions that obstruct change, and for releasing the rising aspirations which provide the energy for a social paradigm change.

Heitor Gurgulino de Souza, President of WUC, stressed the importance of education as humanity’s most effective instrument for conscious social evolution. He posed a number of serious questions for discussion: What is the most essential role of education in the future development of global society? What advances are needed in the global system of higher education in order to support a transition to a new paradigm? How would you compare and contrast the future system with the system we have today? Which features of the current system should be retained in the new paradigm? Which new practices should we strive to introduce and propagate?


WUC Courses
Individual Accomplishment
Trans-disciplinary Science of Society
Creating the Future of Higher Education
IAUP, Japan
Bridging the Gap Between Teaching & Learning, University
& Society, Knowledge & Life

Oxford Summit of Leaders, United Kingdom
Education to Handle Challenges
WUC’s Role in Future of Education, Italy
Ecological Thinking & Education
Ecological Education for Sustainable Development, Russia
Person-centered Education
BioVision, Egypt
University Education to Transmit Values & Ethics
Poznan Declaration
Accessible, Quality Higher Education
Universalizing Access, India
Integrated Science of Management
Value-based Management Education, India
Tech Trends & News
Pioneers in Education
Competency-based Education
Articles on Education in Cadmus

According to UNESCO, university enrolment rose from half a million students in 1900 to over 100 million in 2000. Alberto Zucconi, Secretary General, WUC, pointed out that quality and effectivity have not kept pace with quantity. For example, most graduate medical doctors are taught all about pathology, but very little about promoting health and well-being. Economists are taught to regard budgets for education as expenditure rather than investment in human capital. Teachers are trained to deliver content instead of promoting learning, creativity and resilience. “WUC needs to promote revamping of these obsolete forms of education globally.”

The high social cost of gaps in education was stressed by Emil Constantinescu, former President of Romania, who underlined the need to redefine higher educational institutions. “The responsibility of universities is no longer limited to dispensation of knowledge. It includes development of the entrepreneurial skills of individuals and organizations through ideas and business incubators. Universities based on values of freedom, equality, openness, social inclusiveness and accessibility are essential to promote a new humanism. We need a fundamental shift in education, from a utilitarian enrolment in a system which instils information to an authentic process of modelling personalities.”

Roberto Peccei, former UCLA Vice-Chancellor, pointed out the mismatch between the vertical compartmentalized structure of the university and the horizontal inter-related character of social life. He argued that it has become a major obstacle to addressing social problems. He stressed the need for learning that is participatory and anticipatory. “Participatory learning is learning that is inclusive of all. Students are trained to specialize, but when they graduate, they realize that they need to learn life-long. So we have to make learning anticipatory, and prepare students to be problem solvers.”

Momir Djurovich, President, Montenegrin Academy of Sciences and Arts, highlighted key challenges involved in transforming higher education. “Solving problems requires an understanding of the whole. Solution to today’s challenges requires the combination of many disciplines. Education needs to be

more inter-disciplinary. The new paradigm in education should consist of interrelated, rather than isolated subjects.”

Formal education, lifelong learning and the changes needed to create a new paradigm were examined by Jüri Engelbrecht, Vice-President, Estonian Academy of Sciences. Primary education should not kill curiosity. Instead of mechanical teaching, children should be taught to look at the world with open eyes. In secondary schools, the keyword is fostering creativity. The universities should equip students with knowledge, habits of thinking and mental and conceptual skills to adapt, change and steer in the right direction to understand the world in all its complexity and interdependencies.

Scientist, writer and WAAS Fellow Chandana Chakrabarti stressed the critical importance of women’s education for social development. “When you educate a woman, you educate an entire family.” She also drew attention to the severe shortage of qualified instructors needed to expand higher education in developing countries and proposed engaging retirees as well as youngsters who are willing to contribute towards the education of others.

In the concluding session, Garry Jacobs, WUC CEO, highlighted the key role of education in the evolution of a new paradigm for human development. “The quality, content, method and relevance of education are paramount for a new paradigm. Students, faculty and educators today have the opportunity to reinvent education for the future. Education is a force multiplier. We can multiply the effectiveness of this force multiplier ten or even a hundred times, and we still will not exhaust its catalytic potential for social evolution.”

WUC MEMBER: Al-Farabi Kazakh National University

Al-Farabi Kazakh National University (KazNU) in Almaty, Kazakhstan was established in 1933. It has the largest campus in Kazakhstan with a total area of 100 hectares. The education infrastructure of the campus consists of 13 education buildings and scientific laboratories. More than 20000 students, graduates and PhD students study at KazNU. There are more than 2500 faculty members working, including 400 doctors of science, professors and more than 800 candidates of science and associate professors.

The Beginning of a Vision: WUC & WAAS Trans-Disciplinary Foundation Courses

The World University Consortium and World Academy of Art & Science conducted two pioneering graduate level courses at Inter-University Centre, Dubrovnik, Croatia from Aug 25 to Sep 6, 2014. Dag Hammarskjöld University College of International Relations & Diplomacy, Person Centered Approach Institute and The Mother’s Service Society were co-organizers. Ten faculty and more than ninety students participated in the course in the classroom or remotely through live, real-time webcasts. The complete course of video lectures, background papers and presentations is now freely available online.

Individual Accomplishment, Growth and the Character of Life in Management, History, Literature, and Psychology

The Individual is the catalyst of all social progress, the source of creativity, innovation, new ideas and new initiatives. The entrepreneur, inventor, social reformer, revolutionary leader, original thinker and creative artist are a few of its expressions. This transdisciplinary course explored the role of Individuality and Values in personal achievement, growth of personality and social evolution drawing on evidence from Management Science, History, Psychology and Literature.

The course also examines the relationship between creative individuals and society, searching for insights into the principles and process that govern successful human initiatives and their consequences in various fields of life. It discusses the characteristics of high achieving individuals, individuality as catalyst for social change, role of relationships and networks, power of values, the biological, social, psychological and spiritual dimensions of life, the character of life, personal achievement, growth and self-realization. While the presentation is academic, the objective is to impart original insights and practical knowledge for personal growth and individuation.

Faculty: Janani Harish, Garry Jacobs, Ljudmila Popovich, and Alberto Zucconi

The following are excerpts with links to some of the lectures that comprise the first trans-disciplinary foundation course. The course lectures and papers can be found in the WAAS website.

Past, Present & Future of Education

– Alberto Zucconi

“Knowledge is the sustenance of civilization and culture. Of all the technologies developed by humanity, none is as powerful and sophisticated as the means we have fashioned to gather, organize, store, share and transmit knowledge. We need to improve our education to cope effectively with our present and future challenges. New and effective ways to facilitate the capacity of integration of our ways of knowing are required.”


Ways of Knowing

– Garry Jacobs

“All human accomplishment is made possible by our capacity to observe, record and transmit knowledge from person to person, generation to generation. Considering the whole, not merely the parts, refraining from judging the future from the past and considering points of view other than one’s own gives one knowledge for accomplishment.”


The Role of Human Relationships in Individual and Social Development

– Ljudmila Popovich

“How can we cultivate in ourselves, in others, and in the way we relate to the other belief in the evolving well-being and a sense of greater safety and connectedness while refining all resources for the betterment of our individual condition as it intertwines with our collective?”


Power of Values

– Janani Harish

“In all cases of sustained success, at any level, in any field, anywhere in the world, in the individual, organization or society, accomplishment has always been accompanied by high values. Just as physical skills are the channels through which physical energy is directed so that it produces results, values play a similar role at the psychological level. The quality of the values and the intensity of our commitment to them determine the level of our accomplishment.”


Process of Accomplishment

– Garry Jacobs

“Mechanistic and compartmentalized social theory is inadequate to deal with the multi-dimensional complexity of social events and outcomes. Society is a complex, open, multi-leveled, conscious, creative web of human relationships – a living organism. An effective science of society would necessarily have to transcend disciplinary boundaries to identify principles & processes fundamental to all fields and forms of social activity, change, development and evolution.”



Inter-University Centre (IUC) Dubrovnik, Croatia, is an independent international institution for advanced studies structured as a consortium of universities with a mission to organise and promote contact and exchange through projects, study programmes, courses and conferences across a wide range of scientific concerns. Programme directors and resource persons coming from about 170 member universities worldwide cooperate in organising the activities.

The mission of IUC is implemented through its academic programmes consisting of courses and conferences. The first programme events were launched in 1974, and courses and conferences have from then on represented a wide range of different academic disciplines, from fields of humanities and social sciences, to natural sciences and medicine. Courses and conferences are proposed by scholars from member institutions and are organised by course and conference directors coming from at least two different countries. IUC programmes are intended to reflect the most recent developments in scientific concerns. IUC is open to new member institutions as well as to new programmes.

Toward a Trans-disciplinary Science of Society

The accelerated pace of social change, increasing complexity of interactions between fields and globalization of interactions presents humanity with a nexus of challenging problems – political, economic, legal, social, cultural, psychological and ecological – that defy comprehension and resolution by a piecemeal, sectorial approach based on the prevailing principles of social science. Efforts to combine and integrate perspectives from different disciplines are limited by the absence of a common conceptual framework. This six-day trans-disciplinary course explores common principles and processes governing survival, growth, development, evolution and social revolution applicable to all fields, including awareness, social energy, organization, networks, language, law, technology, money, complexity, power, culture, values, consciousness and ways of knowing.

Faculty: Zbigniew Bochniarz, Janani Harish, Garry Jacobs, Ian Johnson, Winston Nagan, Roberto Poli, Ivo Šlaus, Karl Wagner and Alberto Zucconi

The following are excerpts with links to some of the lectures that comprise the second trans-disciplinary foundation course. The course lectures and papers can be found in the WAAS website.

Uncertainty, Creativity and the Concept of Limits

– Ivo Šlaus

“Knowledge is a unique source. It is inexhaustible, and increases by sharing. We are the creators and depositors of knowledge. Our intrinsic resources still remain underutilized. A knowledge-based society is the best approach to assure and maintain sustainable global society.”


Toward a Tipping Point in the Human and Social Sciences

– Roberto Poli

“The present is already future-bound. Not only can we use the past to understand the present, but we can use the future to understand it too. We need to study the future to take better decisions today. Human and social sciences should move from being primarily past-oriented sciences to become primarily futureoriented sciences.”


The Evolution of the Rule of Law

– Winston Nagan

“The central function of the notion of the rule of law is that every individual has both rights and duties with respect to all the value needs in social process. The central proposition of the rule of law is to secure the legal rights and the legal duties of all members of the community from having their value claims and needs arbitrarily expropriated by the most powerful participator in the community.”


WUC partners with IAUP at Yokohama, Japan, June 2014

Education is the technology humanity has developed to consciously accelerate our collective social evolution. It plays a key role in the development of new knowledge and theoretical understanding and also in passing on to youth the accumulated knowledge of humanity so the next generation can start off where we have left off and progress further, rather than constantly repeat old errors and reinvent the wheel. Incremental expansion of the existing educational system will not be sufficient to meet the needs of humanity in the 21st century. Rapid social and technological change poses serious threats to the existing system and necessitates the emergence of a new vision. These were some of the ideas presented at the special session conducted by the World University Consortium at the XVII Triennial Conference of The International Association of University Presidents (IAUP) at Yokohama, Japan on June 11-14, 2014.

In his keynote speech, Nobuyuki Idei, former Chairman & CEO of Sony, likened the current situation in higher education to the period 65 million years ago when an asteroid hit the earth and wiped out the dinosaurs, making way for the emergence of Homo sapiens. The challenge confronting universities today is to transform themselves into effective instruments for addressing the pressing needs confronting humanity today. Idei spoke of the challenge for universities to preserve the best of the existing system while rising to meet the social challenge of delivering better and more relevant education the world needs.

Neal King, Chair, IAUP Board;
Director, WUC
“Higher education today faces the great challenge of expanding access to quality education, fostering innovation, adapting new technologies, forming partnerships and leveling the playing field.”
Heitor Gurgulino de Souza,
President, WUC
“The challenge we face in higher education is to rapidly expand accessibility and affordability while increasing the content, quality and relevance of what is taught to meet the needs of a new generation, including employability, team and leadership skills, environmental understanding, creativity, innovation and original thinking.”
Garry Jacobs,
“A revolution is coming in higher education. There is urgent need for new thinking and new models that will best meet the diverse needs of humanity.”

The WUC session focused on the need for a New Paradigm in Global Higher Education. About 400 rectors, presidents and vice-chancellors from around the world participated in the conference. The Secretary of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, addressed the audience through a video message. Dignitaries from the UN, the Japanese government, the United Nations University and other world organizations and students addressed the audience.

The WUC special session on the need for a New Paradigm in Higher Education was chaired and introduced by Neal King, WUC Director and Chair, IAUP Board. Heitor Gurgulino de Souza, President of WUC and former Rector of UN University, stressed the vital role played by education in human development. Global social challenges necessitate rapid advances in knowledge generation and knowledge delivery to keep pace with rapidly changing needs.

Garry Jacobs, WUC CEO, described the present situation as “the very early stages of a revolution in global higher education akin to the Internet in 1994 which will radically transform the mode of knowledge delivery, the customer base, the content, the faculty and the way we manage educational delivery. The challenges we face are too important and too great to be left to chance, incremental processes of institutional change. The world needs leadership that can bring in new ideas and perspectives yet is strongly grounded in the current realities and the problems facing higher education today.” Organizations such as IAUP and WUC need to play a key role in meeting this challenge.


The International Association of University Presidents (IAUP) is an association of more than 800 university chief executives from higher educationinstitutions around the world. Founded in 1964, IAUP’s primary purpose is to strengthen the international mission and quality of education of higher education institutions around the world.

IAUP aims to promote global awareness and competence as well as peace and international understanding through education by facilitating the exchange of professional

experience through conferences, seminars, publications, and commissions. The association provides an active global forum for its members to contribute to a worldwide vision of higher education, extend the reach of education to students and countries that are economically deprived, and improve the quality of education worldwide.

IAUP believes the best approach to achieve its aims are to (1) be independent of all ideological and political interests (2) contribute to international dialogue, tolerance and understanding in the promotion of international justice, co-operation and peace; and (3) continue giving positive and creative support to its members, specifically the heads of universities.

Bridging the Gap between Teaching & Learning, University & Society, Knowledge & Life

Oxford Summit of Leaders – Oxford, UK, October 2014

Even the finest examples of the previous century will be insufficient to provide quality, relevant education to all who seek it. New paradigms in knowledge are achieved by unifying phenomena that were previously considered separate and independent, as Maxwell unified electricity and magnetism and Einstein unified matter and energy. There is an urgent need for leadership in thought and action to bridge the gulf between the university and the society, to unify teaching with active learning, and to unify theory in the social sciences with the realities of social life. A trans-disciplinary science of society is needed that integrates the objective and subjective, collective and individual, past and future dimensions based on values of human dignity, welfare and well-being.

These were some of the points highlighted by Garry Jacobs at the Oxford Summit of Leaders in Oxford, UK on October 13-14, 2014. WUC was invited to present its vision of the future of global higher education to an international assembly of university chancellors, presidents and rectors.

The new paradigm in higher education needs to address the multidimensional global challenges and the unprecedented intellectual, economic, social, technological and organizational capacities now available to humanity. Leadership in thought is needed to provide educational leadership to society. The principal goal of education should be to promote qualities of leadership and individuality. Jacobs called for revolutionary ideas commensurate with the revolutionary social forces now acting to shape the future of education.

Remote Laboratory

RL is a layer between the user and lab equipment that allows users to carry out experiments and laboratory tasks over the Internet. The remote infrastructure eliminates the need for physical proximity of the equipment and exposes students to a wide range of science and engineering education. The Chemistry department of Thompson Rivers University in Canada provides anytime/anyplace access to cyber-enabled instrumentation for chemical analysis.

Adaptive Learning Software

Learning analytics is the measurement and analysis of student interaction with texts and other factors in the learning environment. Analytics have been used to predict the performance of students and enable the teacher to intervene in a timely manner. They also improve student retention and provide a high quality, personalized experience for learners. Adaptive learning software like Cerego, Knewton, Smart Sparrow are widely used in online learning platforms.

WUC’s Role in the Future of Education – Florence, Italy, June 2014

“What kind of education will enable us to manage the present and future challenges?” asked Alberto Zucconi, WUC Secretary General, at the “Future of Eduation” conference organized by Pixel in Florence, Italy on June 12-13, 2014.

World University Consortium was invited to participate in the international conference that aimed to promote transnational cooperation and the sharing of best practice in the field of innovation in Education.

Professor Zucconi presented a paper “The World University Consortium: a New Kind of Consortium, including all the Stakeholders and Promoting through Empowerment a Systemic, Interdisciplinary, Intersectorial, Intercultural Education” co-authored with Heitor Gurgulino de Souza, Garry Jacobs, Winston Nagan and Ivo Šlaus. The paper argues that in this period of human history the development of accessible, affordable,

quality higher education worldwide based on a human and person-centered approach is urgently needed not only to accelerate development in the field of higher education, but also to successfully address the wider economic, political and ecological challenges confronting humanity today.

In the final keynote address, Professor Zucconi stressed the need for concerted international collaboration as envisaged by the establishment of WUC. “A evolution in Higher Education is upon us and no force or agency on earth can ultimately prevent it. The question is not whether change is in the offing, but whether that change will be in the desired and most desirable direction. WUC has been established to attempt to steer the momentum toward the best possible future.”


The Istituto dell’Approccio Centrato sulla Persona or Person Centered Approach Institute (IACP) is the largest psychological counseling and post graduate psychological education and training institution in Italy. It was founded by the world-renowned psychologist Carl Rogers along with two of his close collaborators, Charles Devonshire and Alberto Zucconi in 1979. Headquartered in Rome, IACP is a non-profit international organization dedicated to research, training and consultancy to promote change in individuals and groups – public institutions, private organizations & society in general.

IACP plays an important role in the field of psychology because of its person-centred approach and clientcentered therapy. It adopts an innovative method based on the bio-psycho-social factors. It is one of the leaders in the field of health promotion in Italy. The Institute carries out professional training courses and has trained thousands of facilitators and psychotherapists.

Since 1994, IACP has been a World Health Organization collaborating center promoting health in the workplace in the country, both in the public and the private sectors. It also collaborates with the International Labour Organization, various psychology and psychotherapy organizations as well as universities.

Pioneers in Education: Providing Alternate Pathways to Education and Career

UnCollege is a social movement changing the notion that college is the only path to success. It offers the Gap Year Program, a year long program of self-directed learning. The curriculum consists of workshops that focus on the habits and practices of successful people, discussions, workshops on technical skills, meetings with successful individuals and peer-led reviews. The program helps enhance the trainees’ skills, make connections, find mentors, develop their capacity for independent, self-directed learning, and put them on their path to financial independence. It provides resources for students to define their own educational paths.

In an interview for WUC, Dale Stephens, Founder, UnCollege, explained that UnCollege teaches the types of skills you’re supposed to learn in school but that no one ever bothers to teach, such as time management, social capital, motivation, negotiation, and more.

These metalearning skills are useful and essential across disciplines. Whereas traditional education focuses on teaching content, UnCollege focuses on helping people become better learners and master hard skills. Stephens considers as ideal a teaching system that teaches useful skills, that frequently adapts its curriculum for the world, and is only kept around if the curriculum helps its students find success.

UnCollege builds the exact capacities that are needed for the 21st century: building social capital, communicating effectively, giving and getting feedback. These skills can be learned over time, but focusing on learning them expressly in a program such as Gap Year is far more efficient. On the topic of unemployment, Stephens is of the opinion that if the unemployed were to become better learners, then they could teach themselves the required skills instead of waiting for someone else to teach them.


Ecological Education for Sustainable Development, Moscow, Russia, June 2014

Alexander Likhotal,
President, GCI; Director, WUC
“Ten years from now the challenges will be much greater than today if we fail to respond now. Adapting strategies such as circular economy are essential, but not sufficient. Ecological education has an important role to play because ecology is universal in conception and embraces all dimensions of life.”
Alberto Zucconi, President, IACP;
Secretary-General, WUC
“Education is the only known social technology capable of preparing humanity to consciously surmount the barriers to effective action. Education plays a crucial role in the social construction of reality. The world today urgently needs a paradigm change in education in order to enable people to deal effectively with the mounting challenges facing humanity.”

International cooperation in the field of education can be a powerful catalyst for achieving sustainability, especially in developing countries with expanding economies. WUC was invited to conduct a special session on the Future of Higher Education at the 20th international conference organized in association with Green Cross International and Green Cross Russia at the Gorbachev Foundation in Moscow on June 26-27, 2014.

Our present way of life has resulted in an unprecedented crisis that compels us to evolve new ways of thinking and acting. We confront a problem of social and cultural transition, not merely of technology. Alexander Likhotal, President of Green Cross International (GCI) and Director of WUC, delivered an address on “Environmental Education and Socio-Cultural Modernization”. He stressed the need for a new paradigm – not just a change in model, but a change in the very basis of civilization founded on the recognition that human beings are the primary resource for development. The central purpose of economy should be development of human beings, rather than unbridled consumption.

Speaking of a coming revolution in global higher education as an essential need and inevitable response to the compelling global challenges, WUC CEO Garry Jacobs said that increasing access to education and raising the quality are essential, but the revolution must go further. There needs to be a radical reorientation of higher education to attune it to the rapidly changing needs of the 21st century, most especially the demands for employability and ecological sustainability. At a more fundamental level, he called for the introduction of ecological thinking in all fields of knowledge. We need a global system of higher education that draws on perspectives from many different cultures.

The mission, objectives and planned activities of the Consortium and the fundamental principles on which it is based were presented by Alberto Zucconi. He described the coming revolution in higher education, and WUC’s mission to steer the movement in the right direction.


Green Cross International (GCI) is an international NGO founded in 1993 by former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev with headquarters in Geneva and offices in about 30 countries. GCI’s mission is to respond to the combined challenges of security, poverty and environmental degradation to ensure a sustainable and secure future. It seeks solutions through dialogue, mediation and co-operation. To achieve this, GCI:

  • Promotes legal, ethical & behavioural norms that ensure basic changes in the values, actions & attitudes of government, the private sector & civil society,
    necessary to develop a sustainable global community;
  • Contributes to the prevention and resolution of conflicts arising from environmental degradation;
  • Provides assistance to people affected by the environmental consequences of wars, conflicts and man-made calamities.

GCI enjoys consultative status with the UN Economic & Social Council and UNESCO. It is an admitted observer organization with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification. It also cooperates directly with various UN and other international organizations.

BioVision, Library of Alexandria, Egypt, April 2014

The current revolution in online education and WUC’s leading-edge endeavor to promote accessible and affordable world-class higher education received special focus at the 7th Biennial International BioVision conference at the Library of Alexandria on April 7-9, 2014. A specific goal of BioVision Alexandria was to increase participation of developing countries and create significant roles for them in the global exchange of knowledge and best practices. WUC was invited to conduct a special plenary session and workshop at the conference.

WUC representives highlighted the need for a comprehensive metaframe of learning and knowledge and called for the creation of foundation courses which address the interrelated nature of all aspects of human and planetary ecology, the principle and process of accomplishment relevant to a trans-disciplinary science of society, and the study of universal values needed to support the next stage of human development.

Ismail Serageldin, Director of the Library and Director of WUC, explored the need and potential for reinventing the concept of university to attune it to rapidly changing social needs by harnessing newly emerging technologies.

Garry Jacobs emphasized the need for a dramatic and immediate expansion of the global system of higher education to accommodate the tremendous influx of students in the next ten years.

Alberto Zucconi delineated the foundational tenets and organizational principles of WUC. Working in collaboration with universities, research institutes, NGOs, corporations and governments, WUC is working to develop and disseminate new types of transdisciplinary courses, new pedagogical methods and technologies, and new strategies worldwide.

Ljudmila Popovich identified WUC as a New Culture of Learning. WUC seeks to transform the very way in which educational institutions and universities function. She pointed to the organizational, policy-making, funding, technical, curriculum, pedagogical and consciousness changes required to make the great leap toward such a globally transformative goal.

Azza El Kholy, Head of the Academic Research Sector of the Library of Alexandria, stressed the need for greater emphasis on Humanities, not only in the programs across the disciplines but also in any discussion of the future of research, knowledge and social advances.


The Bibliotheca Alexandrina or Library of Alexandria (BA) is a major library and cultural center in Alexandria, Egypt. It is a commemoration of the ancient Library of Alexandria as well as a modern center of learning. BA aims to be a center of excellence in the production and dissemination of knowledge and to be a place of dialogue, learning and understanding between cultures and peoples.

The vast project has shelf space for eight million books, with the main reading room covering 70,000 square metres on

eleven cascading levels. The complex also houses a conference center; specialized libraries for maps, multimedia, the blind and visually impaired, and for children; museums; art galleries, exhibitions; a planetarium; and a manuscript restoration laboratory. The complex receives about 1.5 million visitors a year.

Director of WUC and WAAS Fellow Ismail Serageldin is the Director of BA. Serageldin sees the means to move forward is partnering with many eminent institutions of learning and with the civil society around the world, either in an ongoing manner or around specific events such as seminars, conferences and exhibitions.

WUC supports Whole-of-University Promotion of Social Capital, Health and Development at Poznan, Poland, Sep 2014

A curriculum that promotes trust, social capital, good government, ethical business and individual behavior, and enables universities to contribute to better health and development was proposed during the annual meeting of the Compostela Group of Universities (CGU) at Poznan, Poland on 26 Sep 2014.

The 70 participating universities at the conference unanimously adopted the “Poznan Declaration” on “Whole-of-University Promotion of Social Capital, Health and Development” aimed to foster the transmission of values such as transparency and ethical behaviour among future professionals through their promotion in university education. These measures lay the foundations for the

improvement of social capital, a general increase of trust in the public and private institutions and, ultimately, for the increase of human welfare in Europe and beyond. The Declaration proposes the implementation of a series of common dispositions applicable to the different fields of knowledge. Alberto Zucconi, Secretary General, WUC, represented WUC at the meeting.

At the conference, the XVIII International Prize Grupo Compostela-Xunta de Galicia for outstanding work in promoting the common European ideal, education and the preservation of cultural heritage was awarded to the Swedish scientist and WAAS Fellow Lennart Levi. The 6,000 euro prize will be donated to the NGO “Médicins Sans Frontières”. In the words of Lennart Levi, “to act ethically, people need some knowledge; we do not want to say ‘this is wrong’ or ‘this is right’, but to make them think critically in ethical questions”.

Pioneers in Education: Personalized, Interactive Online Learning can transform Higher Education

The New Media Consortium (NMC) is an international community of experts in educational technology. It is a not-for-profit organization, dedicated to the exploration and use of new media and new technologies.

Its role is to help its member universities, colleges, museums, labs and organizations drive innovation across their campuses. It organizes discussions and hosts conferences, thereby building communities that explore and experiment.

Larry Johnson, CEO, NMC, is an expert on emerging technology and its impacts on society and education. He sees online learning as a critical growth path, especially in the developing world, as it is the quickest way to scale both adult learning and teacher training. But if it is to truly transform higher education, it cannot simply be lectures on video – it must be personalized, content rich, and interactive.

Globally, the most pressing issue is access to the Internet. The digital divide must be addressed via policy and government initiative. The challenge parallels the era of electrification. The key to reducing the gap in access to knowledge between the developed and developing countries is expanding access, via

municipal wireless networks or even cellular (3G) networks, subsidized smartphones and tablets for the economically disadvantaged.

Johnson explains that there is a great body of research that has established that online learning is not inherently inferior – in fact, it is more flexible for most people, and affords critical support to learners who need more time, or want to review prior learning. We must not let accreditation be confused with quality, as most systems of accreditation focus on inputs, rather than the outputs that are true indicators of quality.

Because online learning establishes a clear trail of effort and activity for every student, it has genuine advantages over face-to-face when it comes to documenting learning outcomes. Every class, whether fully online or not, should be making extensive use of the internet, as a source of content, as a way to collaborate, and as a way to extend learning beyond the classroom.

Johnson’s idea of a world-class system of higher education is a system that allows for personalization, student choice, curricular flexibility, multiple modes of delivery, and a strong emphasis on applied mathematics, science, and communication.


WUC supports universalizing access at Allahabad Conference in India

On November 14, 2014, Nehru Gram Bharati University (NGBU) of Allahabad, UP, India became a member of WUC at a public conference attended by upwards of 1000 political and community leaders, faculty and students. Chancellor J. N. Misra explained that the objective of NGBU is to provide low cost, high quality higher education to the rural population as a model that can be replicated in many other parts of India and in other developing countries. It looks to WUC as a source of ideas for elevating the quality and relevance of higher education to promote employment and self-employment opportunities for graduates. Garry Jacobs, CEO of WUC, attended the conference and spoke of the central role of higher education as a catalyst for rapid development within a democratic framework and called for a shift in emphasis from passive to active learning, from transfer of information to development of the capacity for problem solving, from memorization to independent thinking.

Pioneers in Education: Annotations Enrich Online Educational Content

Genius is an online knowledge base. It allows users to provide annotations and interpretation of song lyrics, news stories, poetry, and other forms of text on the Genius website. Students can add comments, notes and links for videos, music and photographs to amplify and annotate what they are reading. They can also offer suggestions to improve already published texts and annotations. The students sharing comments on the passages they are working on in real time helps improve the learning experience. The tool helps the teacher grade the students and keep track of students’ improvements in a large classroom.

Jeremy Dean was teaching in a school in Texas, where he innovatively adopted the new technology in his class. He integrated the Genius platform into his class syllabus so that his students would visit the site twice a week and add commentary on the poems and novels they had been assigned. The project was a success, and led to Dean becoming the Chief of Education at Genius, working with educators to integrate its use into their curriculum.

In his experience in using Genius in the classroom and working

with teachers who are using it, he sees peerlearning: students both learn from each other – reading one another’s annotations – and collaborate on creating knowledge – using Genius’ suggestion feature to develop deep, co-authored analyses of text.

Underlining the value of multimedia in higher education, Dean says that it makes education more engaging, for instance texts are brought to life with pictures and video. It also allows different types of students to engage with content. A visual learner might be more comfortable to offer an image as a statement of meaning than text.

He sees that online tools allow us to sustain and enhance the intellectual energies of a brick and mortar classroom across space and time. When physical face-to-face meeting is not possible, emergent technologies can create a seminar atmosphere for those teaching and learning at great distances.

However, putting a lecture online is only a simple first step. True democratization of knowledge is about knowledge production, not just consumption. Students from across the world need to be given the tools and opportunities to share their ideas and converse with traditional experts and each other more effectively.


Changing Educational Paradigms

MOOC-based degrees, competency-based education, formalization of learning and regulatory reform are factors that bring fundamental change to the status quo in educational practice. Competency-based education improves the alignment between program curricula and employable skills. Qualification frameworks are being built as standards that define the knowledge and skills that a credential should represent. Radical alternatives to regulatory reforms like accreditation, and federal financial aid eligibility are employed to kindle innovation.

Rising Tuition Costs

The net prices charged for the lowest-income students, after discounts and financial aid, continue to rise faster on average than the net prices charged for the higher-income ones, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Universities and colleges concede that financial aid based on merit, as opposed to need, is increasingly important to attract academically talented students. The Century Foundation, a nonpartisan think tank, points out that there are powerful incentives for universities to avoid admitting and enrolling low-income students.

WUC engages Indian business leaders in Value-based Management Education

WUC collaborated with London College of Business and Finance (Kochi) and The Mother’s Service Society, a WUC charter member, to conduct a two day course “Evolve: Engaging Leadership in Values & Empowerment” at Kochi, India on November 22-23, 2014.

The conference was attended by 84 business leaders, management consultants and faculty. “Management is an integrated field of accomplishment encompassing individuals, organizations and society at large. Like other academic disciplines, it has become fragmented into innumerable specialized sub-disciplines that are becoming increasingly disconnected from one another,” explained Garry Jacobs, CEO of WUC and Vice-President, The Mother’s Service Society. “Management Science has developed many powerful tools for business, but in the process we have lost sight of

the big picture. In future we need to develop an integrated science of Management which regards businesses as living organizations that draw energy from the society, customers, employees, suppliers and other stakeholders to provide goods and services to meet social needs in an effective manner. We need to develop scientific knowledge of the energy that drives business growth, the power of organization to transform energy into productive usable results, the process by which businesses develop in symbiotic relationship with society and by fostering the development of capacities in employees.”


The Mother’s Service Society (MSS) is a social science research organization n Pondicherry, South India, founded in 1970, conducting theoretical and applied research on social development, business management, agriculture, economics, education, global governance, peace & security, literary criticism, psychology, values, creativity and spirituality.

MSS is guided by the belief that justice, prosperity and democracy all require better understanding of complex social, cultural, economic, and political processes. It works with practitioners, policymakers, and academic researchers in the social sciences, business, humanities and natural sciences.

It promotes interdisciplinary networks to link research to practice and policy, strengthen individual and institutional capacities for learning, and enhance public access to information.

Its objectives include a wide range of research activities with particular emphasis on social science research in the field of socio-economic development.

The Society also operates a leading-edge primary and secondary school promoting advanced methods and technologies for education and an agricultural development project promoting development of rural India.

Automated Grading Software

Computer scientists at EdX are working on the Enhanced AI Scoring Engine(EASE). EASE grades essays, not just multiple-choice questions, and can learn to imitate the grading styles of professors. EdX’s university partners are using EASE to provide feedback to students in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).

3D Printers for Education

3D printers are a type of industrial robot that constructs physical objects from digital content. Successive layers of material are laid down under computer control and objects of almost any shape or geometry are produced. Online repositories such as Thingiverse and MeshLab, provide free, digital designs for physical objects where users can download the digital design information and print the object themselves. Students can examine 3D printed specimens of rare fossils, crystals, fragile artifacts, synthetic skin and also invent new objects.

Reality of College Completion Rates

Over the past 20 years in the US, more than 31 million students have enrolled in college and left without receiving a degree or certificate. To improve the completion rate, policymakers need to address the roadblocks by options such as enabling transfer of college credits and flexible federal financial aid regulations.

Platform for Job Recruitment

French startup Agorize offers a platform that links corporates with start-up companies and student communities. It relies on open innovation and community crowdsourcing to let companies gather data on new ideas and ventures. Organizations get better recommendations and data compared to the solutions offered by anonymized marketing survey. Students from 2000 universities actively participate with Agorize, and are rewarded with jobs by its clients like Google, Microsoft and Bank of America.

Competency-based Education (CBE) is a self-paced student-centered approach that allows students to advance based on their proficiency in a subject. CBE allows students to make progress as they demonstrate mastery of the subject, breaking free of the restrictions of the time-based system. Those already familiar with the subject can complete assignments, take tests and earn credits. Others can take their time without the pressure of due dates for paper submission or exams. This personalized, flexible learning model also helps to translate prior learning and experience into academic credit. The system can be implemented in the traditional school or college course, however, Internet and Communication Technologies (ICT) make CBE far easier to implement in the online learning system. CBE tools that define learning outcomes, map competencies to the course curriculum and track students’ progress are emerging.

  • On July 22, 2014, the U.S. Department of Education announced Federal Student aid eligibility to colleges’ experimentation with competency-based education and prior learning assessment. This announcement opened the doors to more innovation in pedagogy and better methods to measure quality of educational institutions based on the student’s capabilities.
  • Lumina Foundation, a private foundation in the US, launched
    the Degree Qualifications Profile in Oct 2014. It is a framework that describes what students are expected to know and be able to do with an associate’s, bachelor’s or master’s degree in any field of study. It outlines what degrees mean in terms of specific learning outcomes and sets benchmarks for college degrees. The beta version of the Degree Qualifications Profile was released in 2011 and has been used in more than 400 colleges and universities. This initiative will set standards for the competency-based educational programs.
  • The University of Michigan, Purdue University, the University of Wisconsin and several other colleges have created degree programs that allow students to progress based on their demonstration of skill mastery. Students take rigorous assessments to prove their knowledge and skills to earn their certificates at their own pace.
  • Employers from different industries offer credentials for occupation specific skillsets. Cisco, Oracle and Microsoft have a long history of providing IT certifications. Corporations also work with educational institutions to ensure that the course curriculum is market relevant. In 2011, the US National Association of Manufacturers partnered with the University of Phoenix to form the competency-based curriculum and credentials as the core of a bachelor’s degree in management at the online university.

Pioneers in Education: Adding Credibility to Learning outside the Classroom

Online and self education are an integral part of learning today. But much of it does not result in a certificate. Accredible helps add credibility to self education by providing users with the option of creating their own certificates. It enables learners create a digital portfolio that show their degrees, track MOOCs, and provide evidence of their knowledge. These digital certificates are dynamic and evolving, they can be students’ own notes, assignments, projects, quiz results, videos showcasing their talent, and endorsements from colleagues and industry experts.

Danny King, Danny King, co-founder of Accredible along with Alan Heppenstall, sees a great shift in the progress of education. Advancing technology brings quality education to places once deprived. In an interview with WUC, he explained that Accredible’s premise is simple: if you have knowledge or skill and you can demonstrate it, then you should be credible regardless of how or where it was obtained. Employers often express skepticism towards online learning because it is harder for them to be confident that the learning was high quality and that the participant actually did all of the

learning that is claimed. Accredible lets learners build a new type of credential with the proof of learning built into it. The digital certificate consists of the official course documentation, a portfolio of evidence of the knowledge or skills gained, and references from other course mates, colleagues, mentors and professors. This is all packaged into a webpage that can be linked to from one’s résumé or embedded in the LinkedIn profile.

King believes accreditation will look very different in five years because the way people will learn is going to be very different. The way we learn is evolving; increasingly, it’s not access to money, geography or a person’s social graph that determines the extent and quality of their knowledge. Motivation and an Internet connection are all that are necessary to access high quality learning content for free or very cheaply from the world’s best universities. The traditional education system can’t scale fast enough to meet our needs, so online education and self-education will play a significant part in the future. We need a new way of thinking about credentials that is scalable, flexible, ongoing and comprehensive in order for credentialing to evolve in pace with education.