Whether TU/e will play a role of any significance in shaping up the region, the country, or the world is the burning question in the minds of strategists sitting at the table with the ‘TU/e 2020’ agenda. As the world is becoming more of a global village and most of the production/manufacturing is going towards the East, the West has to come up with a plan to sustain itself. I think universities can play a major role in this. The education system and especially universities help to shape society. I think in 2020 a multidisciplinary university like TU/e will not only want to breed the engineers, but will also want to breed the citizens of tomorrow’s world. The main role of TU/e in 2020 will also be to generate new entrepreneurs, who will keep the economy flowing.
The interaction of scientists with educational policymakers, which ultimately comes down to the students, is what defines the high standards at TU/e. This symbiotic relationship has to flourish beyond 2020 and this will define the healthy educational as well as the research atmosphere. This will benefit companies too, as they will get well-taught, up-to-date future employees and TU/e will get valuable company research collaboration.
To become a global force in 2020 TU/e should advertise/sell itself in the East and attract more students. However, it can also open its franchise there. This way TU/e will benefit from developing economies. The achievable goal of being the most recognized university in the world is the dream TU/e 2020 should have. The next steps which can be made for that are very important. It should be the goal for 2020 to take TU/e to the level of Harvard and MIT. TU/e has huge potential and the infrastructure to do so. What it has achieved in the last fifty years is remarkable, but what it will do in the next ten years will define its future.
Prashant Agrawal is a postdoc with the Biomedical Engineering Department
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