We are on the edge of a new ‘era’, when nations must develop more and more skills in their people to face imperative challenges like an unbalanced economy, aging population or climate change (factors affecting trade, relationships, individuals and the planet). In fact, boosting knowledge has become even more crucial for those developed countries in competition with the new global manufacturers – India, China, Indonesia, Brazil, among others.
The challenges above, despite threatening the ‘welfare societies’, are also opening amazing opportunities to them in the form of new sources of energy, biotechnological and nano-technological solutions, information technologies, global communications and so on. But all this calls for the highest qualified generation in our history.
University as one of the most important tools that a society owns to take advantage of such imperative ‘momentum’ must play a key role in this process. If we do not exploit our intellectual talent, other societies will.
Democracy is based on the principle of equal rights and, consequently, opportunities, but only through education it may become real. In the current times ‘everyone’ should respond to the call to ‘enlist’ in the colleges and universities in order to prepare our countries for this impending ‘era’. On the contrary, if we put up new barriers like the withdrawal of public funding to the detriment of our ‘talent pool’, it will be impossible not only our progress as society but also to maintain the current standard of living.
How can it happen within a self-proclaimed ‘knowledge-based economy’? How can this model be deployed and sustained by removing its foundations?
Young people will lose desire, passion, ambition and competitiveness but society as a whole will pay the highest price as a result.
The United Kingdom, still powerful in the current global context, is too small to progress by buying what others achieve. Only by producing ‘knowledge’ and trading with its outcomes will be possible to shape the kind of economy vehemently proclaimed by all politicians and statesmen.
We must make compatible cuts – if it is true that we do not have access to money – with giving opportunities to everyone who wants to participate in overcoming the new challenges.