EDUCATION PLUS

Creating global citizens

FREEPIK

FREEPIK  

Change is not an overnight journey. It is both extensive and exhaustive, and begins within us and eventually spreads its wings externally. The idea of bringing change and considering the entire planet as one’s home has to be instilled from the beginning. This is possible only if educational institutions inculcate the concept of global citizenship.

A global citizen is one who is aware of and understands the wider world and his/her place in it. He/she takes an active role in the community and works with others to make the planet more equal, fair and sustainable. Today, this concept seems more relevant than ever before.

Change your approach

Universities have, for long, been empowering students to change the world while simultaneously making them more compassionate, empathetic and kind. Today, apart from the pandemic, the world faces other disasters such as melting ice caps, frequent wildfires, burning of natural gas wells, and riots in various parts of the world.

It is time to change our approach and promote responsible and sustainable living. This will allow us to be responsible professionals contributing to our respective industries, allowing us to lend our expertise for a good cause while becoming a better version of ourselves.

Universities should stir inquisitive minds to pay attention to new insights and global concerns. Collaborations with institutions across the world and international tie-ups to encourage experiential learning will provide students with exposure that not only helps with field-specific knowledge and theoretical concepts but also builds empathy, as students learn about different cultures and concerns.

The changing curriculum and the acknowledgement of world issues provide young minds with deeper insights and allow students to come up with innovative ideas to create a better world.

Technological progress has also been instrumental in bringing the world together. Digital lectures, webinars, discussions and other sessions allow students to imbibe knowledge in different ways. Tech-enabled platforms and spaces allow them to have an overview of the world from the comfort of their institutes or homes and form a perspective of global issues in their own way.

Student exchange programmes effectively prepare youngsters to navigate, work and volunteer in global and multicultural environments and help them understand and appreciate other cultures and ways of life in the host country.

A university education may lead to a rewarding job after graduation. But including the concept of global citizenship within the curriculum is an investment that is far greater than simply procuring a job. Helping students explore their highest potential and making them global thinkers and citizens will help develop holistic individuals who are competent and compassionate enough to transform the world into becoming a better place for us all to coexist.

The writer is the Vice-Chancellor, Ansal University

It is time to change our approach and promote responsible and sustainable living

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