Our VC addresses audience of Global Innovators in China on how next generation technologies can revolutionise education
- Big data, 5G and augmented reality create new possibilities for education which links with industry in research-business environments across the world
- Sir Keith showcased how the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre and Factory 2050 are already working with global companies like Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Jaguar Land Rover, Siemens and McLaren
Our President and Vice-Chancellor Sir Keith Burnett unveiled what he believes will be a revolutionary concept in higher education, research and teaching with industry at a Conference of Global Innovators in China’s high-tech city, Shenzhen.
Speaking to an audience of tech innovators and industry leaders from around the world, including leading individuals from Google DeepMind, Sir Keith described an approach to education matching the transformation of next generation technologies in Industry 4.0, which integrates the latest technologies with industry needs and global partnerships: Education 4.0.
We are using technologies to cross borders, to challenge old divides and to reboot the economy as we do it.
Professor Sir Keith Burnett
“From them, we learned that we need to completely rethink our boundaries, so it is no longer possible to see where the lab and lecture theatre end and the factory begins. Our Factory 2050, for example, looks more like an Apple Store than most people’s idea of an industrial research lab, and in it you see industrialists, research scientists and engineers, PhDs in AI and apprentices working side by side.
“We are taking virtual reality and bringing it all the way back to the reality of design and production.”
Education 4.0 is the intellectual property of the University of Sheffield but our University is already working with global partners to develop its potential.
Sir Keith said: “We know that Education 4.0 offers us the chance to do enormous local good, creating new opportunities for young people in our communities in the UK while simultaneously working with our partners in China, in South Korea or in Portland, Oregon.
“To develop this concept – and it is of course still developing fast – we are working with the world’s best. People like Martin Bean at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology who developed Future Learn and who works in an environment which never separated technical and academic education. We are using technologies to cross borders, to challenge old divides and to reboot the economy as we do it.
“It is a very exciting concept. I’m absolutely delighted that the Ministry for Industry in China is as excited about this work as are our partners Boeing and McLaren and all those who have supported the almost 1,000 apprentices we have already trained, providing industry sponsorship so the students themselves don’t have to pay fees. It really is the future."