The new wave of digital disruption is more visible than ever in our lives, and arguably at a rate of change that has never been experienced before. Advancement in algorithms and increased internet connectivity have enabled new technologies to emerge and bring in a storm of opportunities to the adopting industries.
Within the area of IT, we are introduced to a whole new set of vocabulary, from ‘smart contracts’ to ‘wearables’, ‘m-health’ and ‘deep learning’ that represent technologies with a digitalised touch to the original concepts.As much as the developments are well embraced by a number of sectors, e.g. management, energy, healthcare, and education, the practices are still in transformation and debates are not over regarding implications.
Where do the HEIs stand in the face of these changes? From the educational perspective, the universities are facing a double-challenge: Developing & selecting effective pedagogies, and preparing the students to a labour market that is impacted by the disruption of emerging technologies. Looking into their research mission, there is growing interest by the universities to collaborate with industries and other societal actors to build expertise and further understanding on the phenomena.
Taking this as a starting point, in our new issue we aim to inspire the discussions with two interrelated questions: What are the implications of the emerging technologies for universities in the educational experiences they offer, and their administrative operations? And how do the universities contribute back to the development of those technologies? Reactions are diverse, we can conclude, glancing through the selection of our articles that reflect on the institutional initiatives in the Netherlands, Malta, US, Australia, UK, and the collaborative projects from the European landscape.
Accordingly, our content is delivered to you in two chapters: Part One explores the Blockchain and Extended Reality (XR) technologies being adopted in the HEI sector, and Part Two focuses on the university-industry collaborations for the development of the technologies underlining Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Internet of Things (IoT) for their exploitation in the education, business, and smart city initiatives.
While we are highlighting only a fraction of initiatives, we would love to know what you think on the subject. Let us know about your perspectives via our UIIN Twitter account, or send us your opinion piece that we can share them with our community.
We wish you all a pleasant reading and many useful takeaways.
Please access the issue in full here.
Managing Editor of the UIIN Magazine