(Published - 16 August 2019)
If you don’t already know (Where have you been?), the world is rapidly entering a Fourth Industrial Revolution – a technological revolution that will change the way we work, socialise, analyse...and learn.
But you can’t launch a revolution without the right stuff - and the University of the Western Cape (UWC) definitely has that, and more.
“Universities play an important role in the workplace landscape - a landscape that is constantly changing,” says UWC’s Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tyrone Pretorius. “Are universities necessarily only recipients and users of technology produced elsewhere? Do we not have a responsibility to be at the forefront of innovation? I think that we are expected to offer much more - and at the University of the Western Cape, that is just what we’re doing.”
The Fourth Industrial Revolution involves a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres, and disrupting almost every technology. So how can we find revolutionaries to keep fueling this change?
Here’s how UWC is helping to create Fourth Industrial Revolutionaries...
1. Educating (Everyone) Online: Education is for everybody, and all of us deserve the chance to find meaningful work and gainful employment. So when those things meet online, who knows what can happen? That’s the idea behind UWC’s 100% onlineManagement Development Programme - providing aspiring managers and first-line managers with the opportunity to acquire a background in the core functional areas of management, together with the skills necessary to advance in their careers. UWC has long been showing e-learning leadership. And when the critical thinking of higher education, the economic empowerment of management skills, and the freedom of accessing coursework online combine, the possibilities are endless.
2. Building Business Intelligence: Globally, businesses are wrestling with challenges and opportunities that call for the application of analytics - the discovery, interpretation, and communication of meaningful patterns in ever-growing sets of data. Without the right information applied in the right way - without business intelligence - businesses can quickly lose their way. Unfortunately, African businesses identify the lack of talent as one of the primary factors for not being able to solve this problem. That’s why UWC offered Africa’s very first Postgraduate Diploma in Data Analytics and Business Intelligence, to address the continent’s shortage of talent in analytics in a business context.
3. Digging Into The Data (Science): Data science is more than just a confusing business buzzword. It’s a field that combines statistics, mathematics, programming and creative problem-solving to develop a new approach to data cleansing, preparation, analysis and modelling - and a new understanding of the vast floods of data available in the twenty-first century. Not sure what that means? UWC’s Masters Programme in Data Science will teach all of that, and more. UWC has also developed expertise in other data-intensive fields, like astronomy (helping to tackle some of the deepest cosmological mysteries of all) and bioinformatics (developing more effective responses to a variety of diseases).
4. Developing (App) Paths To Employment: Mobile applications have seen incredible success over the past few years, with billions of apps being downloaded onto millions of smartphones and tablets worldwide. While many of these are trivial, others have world-changing potential. All it takes is the right idea – and the skills to take that idea and develop and market the right app from it. Samsung’s Equity Equivalent Investment Programme (EEIP) R&D Academy aims to recruit previously disadvantaged youth and help them develop those skills. And now, the EEIP R&D Academy, in partnership with UWC and Microsoft, is set to showcase exactly what can be achieved. The FutureBuilders project will provide a six-month development experience, and deliver an advanced nine-month software development programme to address the gap of high-demand software skills.
5. Rewiring Reality - An Augmented Future: Immersive Technologies are in the process of transforming the way we experience the world. UWC is the first university in South Africa to offer an accredited Postgraduate Diploma in e-Skills with Immersive Technologies Stream, which incorporates Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. The objective of facilitating an immersive technology-based knowledge transfer for education, edutainment and industry partnerships is to create, share and collaborate virtual 3-dimensional learning platforms across a broad range of disciplines. The programme - run in partnership with leading immersive technology company EON Reality - has already received rave reviews from industry role-players.
Want to know more about how UWC is preparing students to make their mark in the twenty-first century? Interested in finding out how you can make the most of your first year at the University? Or just curious about what makes UWC awesome? We’ve got you covered...