Part 1: How Universities Can Develop the Next Generation of Leaders

Pradeep K. Khosla is speaker at the Marcus Evans University Leadership Summit, Khosla gives his recommendations for developing students who can make an impact on society.

University leaders have to understand and define their university’s role in the community, to ensure students develop the necessary skills and thinking processes required to become the next generation of leaders, advised Pradeep K. Khosla, Chancellor, University of California San Diego. Industries have to come to campus for students to solve industry challenges, thus generate value for society and create jobs, he added.

INTERVIEW, Part 1

How can universities be more competitive?

  • Khosla: Universities are competitive, but many may have missed the point. University leaders have to focus on understanding their role in the community and the world at large, and what contribution they want to make. At the end of the day, the biggest product they have is their students, so they have to deliver highly qualified people who can hit the ground running and contribute to society.

What approach does this require? How can they develop the next generation of leaders?

  • Khosla: Education programs tend to be oriented towards analytical thinking and problem solving, but they need to serve students as a whole person, in a holistic manner, and not just focus on imparting content. Students also develop intellectually and emotionally in their four years there. Universities have to involve industries, create value-added programs, especially at the graduate level, and employment opportunities. If you look at the problems the world is facing today, there are many issues where technology or science do not lead to an answer. They are multi-disciplinary issues that require multi-disciplinary solutions. The students being educated right now should have the ability to use the left and right side of their brain simultaneously and be able to work collaboratively in groups environments. Universities have to take a fresh look at what courses students are required to take and what skills will actually help them develop into leaders. The university’s role is not to simply train people for jobs, but to train leaders who are going to work on problems of societal impact.

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Photo Credit: Techonomy

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