How Universities Can Reinvent Themselves as Vibrant Centers of Collaboration
The traditional notion of university learning brings to mind a stagnant classroom filled with now-antiquated methods of teaching. University learning has grown stale over the years, so it makes sense that reinvention is on the horizon. Many colleges and universities are taking the lead to form themselves into vibrant centers of collaboration. Students are developing passions that extend beyond the classroom and into the workforce.
How can this reinvention sweep across the nation, transforming our university classrooms into vibrant centers of collaboration? Here are a few ways that some universities have already started becoming more collaborative with other industries.
Educators and industry specialists can oversee group projects.
At an undergraduate level, few students are able to interact with industry experts throughout their studies. This leaves them ill-equipped for the future ahead after graduation. One way that schools can start to partner with other industries to form a more collaborative atmosphere is through group projects. Educators from the university can assign a specific task for a group of undergraduate students. The progress made on the project will be overseen by both the educator and the industry specialist.
These projects give students the benefit of both the academic knowledge and the real-world application. Both are necessary for success following the college years. This is an easy way for universities to start testing the idea of collaborative relationships.
Develop a platform to form trusting relationships.
According to the University Innovation Alliance, our current academic model forces students to directly compete with one another. They rarely have a chance to share their ideas and develop the trusting relationships necessary to feel comfortable sharing innovative insights with one another. Universities can start to develop a more collaborative nature among their own student body by introducing platforms for students to share. These might be meetings, small groups focused on innovation in particular areas or an internet platform where all students can connect.
Connect with businesses to develop new products.
Some universities have already experienced success by partnering with companies to develop new products. Students have the cutting-edge technology and training that might be lacking in a place of business. However, they are sorely lacking the real-world experience that helps them to know which products will actually be marketable. The collaboration between the university students and the business is mutually beneficial. There are lots of examples of products that have been developed through these collaborations, including the StreetScooter and Raven the surgical robot.
Developing a more collaborative atmosphere could be the key to more innovation at the university level. Students would have more freedom to tap into their true passions and leave the school with greater real-world skills. Even the businesses and industries they partner with can benefit from this relationship. With just a few simple steps, we could be well on our way to a more innovative culture at every university.