A new study from IBM’s Institute for Business Value uncovers some sobering news on the state of higher education. Of the nearly 1,000 academic and business leaders surveyed, 51 percent believe the current higher education system fails to meet the needs of students while nearly 60 percent believe it fails to meet the needs of industry. The Smarter Planet blog caught up with David Zaharchuk, Research Lead, IBV, and one of the lead authors of the new study, to get some perspective on these findings and learn what might be done to enable higher education systems to remain viable.
Smarter Planet: It’s clear from these numbers that the value of the traditional higher education model is being questioned by the very people who are shaping it. Why?
David Zaharchuk: Higher education is absolutely in a state of transition. Leaders identified a number of challenges as to why the system is struggling. Continue Reading »
By Steve Hamm
Chief Storyteller, IBM
During the TV broadcast for the 1977 World Series, color commentator Howard Cosell left a seemingly indelible mark on New York City’s Bronx Borough when the camera panned above Yankee Stadium and captured a building involved in flames. “Ladies and gentlemen, the Bronx is burning,” he said. It was a time when people were giving up not just on the Bronx but on the American city as an institution.
Many cities have staged amazing turnarounds in recent years. But can the Bronx? Continue Reading »
By Lysa Banks
I am a builder.
I build cloud solutions at IBM. I even built my own house. And throughout my career as an engineer, I also have learned to build valuable relationships as a mentor inside and outside of the workplace.
I learned a lot about being a good mentor through the many people who have mentored me in my own career. I have had mentors who have enhanced my technical skills and business acumen or served as an emotional rock and professional guide. I’ve had both male and female mentors, and in all cases, they helped accelerate my career and bring me to where I am today. Continue Reading »
By Jonathan Schaeffer
At the just-concluded G20 summit in Brisbane, Australia, the leaders of the 20 major economies in the world agreed to “take strong and effective action” on climate change.
Still, at this critical juncture in the history of our planet, it is essential that the scientific world continue to document the dramatic climate changes occurring all across the globe.
One technological area gaining wider use is remote sensing. Today sensors are powerful and inexpensive, network access to remote data is increasing, scientific models are improving, and “big data” algorithms for crunching the numbers are more accessible. Continue Reading »
By Charity Wayua, Ph.D.
I come from a family of educators. So when it came to choosing a career, it was natural for me to go into education. My vocation, though, is research. I study educational systems so that I can help re-imagine what they can be.
Few places can benefit as much from this kind of research than Africa, where I grew up and now work as a scientist at IBM’s new Research lab in Nairobi, Kenya. Africa is a paradox. It has seen tremendous growth during the past decade.
And yet half of the children in Africa will reach adolescence unable to read, write or do basic math. Two-thirds of those who don’t receive schooling are girls, because many of them have to stay home and take care of their younger brothers or sisters. Continue Reading »
By Michael King, VP Global Education Industry at IBM
It is a well-known fact that the quality of the student experience is critical to the success of an institution of higher education, so colleges and universities need to focus on student engagement to meet the changing needs of incoming and existing students.
The pressures have never been more intense. With schools, public and private, facing increasing competition from each other and from online schools, and with budgets tightening, every institution must work smarter to remain competitive.
Transforming the student experience requires a focus on preparing graduates to meet the challenges of today’s demanding workplace. To achieve this goal, an institution needs to achieve a holistic view of every student, so it can assess individual student needs and create a more personal learning experience that will help them prepare for professional life.
In an effort to transform its student experience, UK’s London South Bank University (LSBU) has chosen IBM and its Exceptional Student Experience (ESE) package of cloud services, a mix of analytics, mobile, social and security solutions.
By Steve Hamm
Aleksandra “Saska” Mojsilovic grew up in the former Yugoslavia before it splintered into nine nations, and, by the time she graduated with a PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Belgrade in 1997, “The world I knew didn’t exist anymore,” she says. Today, as a scientist at the IBM Research lab in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., she’s making it possible for people to understand how the world works much more deeply than every before–so they can transcend traditional boundaries and make better decisions in their private and professional lives. Continue Reading »
By Chris Sciacca
Ballet or mathematics? Most ordinary eight year olds girls would probably choose ballet, but Maria Dubovitskaya was anything but an ordinary eight year old.
One day, after ballet lessons in the Moscow suburb of Domodedovo, Maria’s parents were running a little late. She heard other children, mostly boys her age, clacking away on IBM 286 PC keyboards in the classroom next door. Peeking through a crack in the door Maria was overcome with curiosity.
“I remember they were drawing different figures on the screens and magically changing their shapes and colors simply by typing on the keyboard. I just had to try this out for myself.”
When her parents finally arrived, she immediately asked them to sign her up for a computer class.
“I didn’t know what to expect, but thinking back now, my parents were very supportive. In fact, a few days later my dad bought me a programming book for kids called The Encyclopedia of Professor Fortran, and also brought home a very simple computer. I was hooked,” said Maria. Continue Reading »
By Jim Spohrer
Moore’s Law describes the phenomenon that drives rapid progress in the electronics industry. Taking advantage of the laws of physics, engineers have been able to pack transistors ever more densely onto semiconductor chips, doubling their capacity every 18-24 months. The effect of this so-called “scaling” phenomenon is the ability to do more with less space, continuously increasing the capabilities and lowering the cost of computing. Rapid progress is built into the system.
Society’s efforts to scale higher education have not been so successful. Sure, the world’s developed economies handle an immense quantity of university students. In the United States alone, nearly 5,000 institutions of higher education serve more than 20 million students. Yet the way we have scaled up to produce the number of knowledge workers required by modern society is ineffective and unsustainable. In the US, the cost of higher education has increased by 1,120% over the past 35 years, four times the increase in the consumer price index. And stasis, rather than progress, is built into the system. Continue Reading »