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FA. 3 Education: Innovation, Competencies and Values

1. New educational models.

The educational system has historically been one of society’s fundamental pillars, preparing citizens for the future and being a part of their lives for an extended period of time. Schools, universities, secondary schools and similar institutions are, without doubt, the greatest path to progress and, at the same time, the best channel to spread knowledge. The greatest challenge faced by the educational system is adapting to changes in society.

Currently, we are traversing a period of change in which the educational system has transformed itself in accordance with the new social model. Governments and the educational institutions themselves are working to redefine the educational system, with a new networked understanding of co-responsibility amongst formal, non-formal and informal educational subsystems, both inter-professional and inter-industry, and with an unlimited focus on learning both in time (Life-Long Learning) and space (Ubiquitous Learning Environments). Our role as universities and R&D+I centres is to participate and provide value to this critical and in-depth redefinition of education and the associated new systems, resources and organisational models.

We could highlight the following fields of action for this third focus area (FA.3) as examples: adapting the educational system to the real needs of today’s society, defining new roles for the system’s active agents, with the student as the primary and central agent in the educational process, converting the classic scenario in which the professor teaches students to a model in which the student learns, supporting the new model with new technological as well as pedagogical tools which encourage learning and promote a socio-collaborative setting in this area.

Our three universities are actively taking part in this renewal, with recognised research groups centred on educational innovation and leadership. The groups providing value to this field focus their activities on, for example, facilitating and promoting education in multicultural and complex settings, incorporating new information and communications technology into the new educational settings, implementing new transformational leadership models in education via networks of socio-educational co-responsibility, developing smart self-learning and tutoring systems to encourage learning and defining organisational models in which care is given to the role of ethics in education.