The impact of knowledge-based economy on universities’ learning systems

As of today, the world economies are growing in a rapid phase and transiting towards being a knowledge economy. Thus, supporting, imparting and generating knowledge is a vital factor for economic growth. The impact of globalization arguably enabled all the continents to be more actively involved in the global economy-where- knowledge provides the base for building advantages.

The development of the knowledge base economy is a ‘complex but an integrated’ effort. It is built utilizing four main pillars: First, it necessitates a centric-economic framework that values efficiency. Second, it requires a skilled work-force to impart, generate and use knowledge. Third, it needs systems to hold the stock of knowledge and adapt to the changing local conditions. Fourth, a capable information infrastructure is vital in order to process and exchange information communication.

Economists argue that future economic growth will occur from creating ‘non-routine’ and creative knowledge work, which is, works that attempt to design solutions for resolving business problems. To a certain extent, this was already performed by the scientists, architects, physicists and doctors in their fortresses. If we accept this phenomenon, then we should ask the question ourselves about, how we are prepared for the personification of the knowledge-based economy?  

They say, beyond 2025 you would not be hired for what you know because search engines would do that. Eventually, search engines would know even more. Thus, the skillset: design solutions for resolving global business problems will make a competitive difference. How can we adapt this emphasis as part of the universities’ learning system? a question an emerging economy should answer? In my perspective, universities should coup-up with developing interactive learning experiences in order to stimulate broad knowledge transfer. Then a mechanism must be thought and developed, enabling the students to selectively apply their knowledge and learnings. Obviously, this is a niche area of focus. However, there are universities who are actually driving this phenomenon. Universities such as Stanford, Harvard and MIT focus on delivering lectures in the likes of highly interactive learning environments and the outcomes of these courses are quite impressive. The results reveal that the interactive learnings would enable to produce numerous patters of business models, ideas for new product development and creating new enterprises, also works as the breeding ground for start-ups.

One would argue that the characteristics of these courses aimed at developing highly interactive learning are all about designing a unique mechanism, where the course delivery is structured around problem-based learning coupled with immersion and stimulation. Problem-based learning is where the learners are asked to apply their knowledge to real-world business problems to find solutions. Thus, it’s all about finding new drastic solutions to the existing problems and finding new problems too.  One of the unique aspects of problem-based learning is, it provides opportunities for the learners to rethink, revalidate and reframe the existing problems via different perspectives.