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Virtual Universities – Enabling Lifelong Learning

The rapid pace of technological development has created a fast growing knowledge economy which requires people to continuously improve and learn new skills for both the workplace and in their private lives.

The new fourth industrial revolution has resulted in new jobs being created in data management and automation technologies. Some of the highest in demand skills by employers are: communication skills (77%), adaptability (67%), digital proficiency (64%), innovation (63%), critical thinking (61%), emotional intelligence (53%), technical skills (43%), self-learning (40%) and data-based decision making (35%).

To cater for this requirement, virtual universities would offer the capacity to adapt to the constant demand for education and technical innovation such as mobile learning, micro-credentials, student data analytics, open educational resources, artificial intelligence and blockchain technology. By offering short courses and micro-credentials, universities could enable students and working professionals to bulk up their résumés with field-specific skills. This has shown promise as a recent survey of human resource managers across different industries has shown that 95% were interested in the micro-credentials of potential hires.

One of the greatest challenges for virtual universities would be the constant liaising with industry and government to provide courses that are relevant and make the best use of innovations for the benefit of society.

18th February 2019

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