About Universal University

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. . . connecting the . . . 

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Imagine you are a student of Business at a university in Thailand looking for an elective course to fill your schedule. There are many requirements you need to fulfill: program, mathematics, science, humanities, social sciences, language ... ; many experiences you want to have: study abroad, service-learning, cross-cultural perspectives, internships ... ; and a lot of electives to choose from – if you only knew which ones will make you be a better business professional. Oh, you also want to improve your English!

You login to your university's portal and enter your criteria and interests:

"I am looking for a science, or engineering, or technology course that also assesses the impact of technology on society, improves my English, and gives me the opportunity for an internship. It would be nice to also fulfill my humanities requirement. I love to travel and work with people from different places."

The portal returns the following (course numbers and university names are fictional):

"ET2810 (Introduction to Engineering and Technology) at University of Princeton, USA; ENG1520 (Writing and Rhetoric) at University of Rhodes, South Africa; and CLAS3140 (Wisdom in Antiquity) at University of Ohio, USA. Students in ET2810 study 'sustainable neighborhoods' and their impact on the environment, society, and economy. Students will work on engineering calculations and reflections in ET2810 and will continue the discussions in ENG1520, while working on the writing side of the assignments. In addition, ET2810 students will COIL (Collaborative Online International Learning) with students in THP5650 (Theatre Performance) at the Patras University in Greece. In a COIL project, students will design the 'neighborhood of the future' from the engineering, societal, and artistic points of view. Students who choose to also take CLAS3140 at University of Ohio will study the 'Greek & Roman Wisdom: Concepts and terms, and the relationships between wisdom, art, and science;' and may participate in 'Greek in Greece' study abroad program to learn modern Greek. Internships at the Acropolis Restoration Project and at the National Bank of Greece are available to interested and qualified students. The courses are offered in augmented reality mode. The course content is provided for by www.universal-university.net".

Imagine Our University (OU) to enroll students from anywhere in the world. OU not only admits students for full or part-time study, but also allows its students to register for courses at any university in the world, based on the students' interests and other universities' offerings. In addition, OU opens its courses to any student in the world to register for credit. Furthermore, OU not only employs full and part-time faculty, but also utilizes the teaching and learning services of any faculty in the world. Finally, OU practices Synergies in Teaching and Learning (Synergies Project, or Synergies), a framework that aims to educate the whole student by enabling the integration of STEM with liberal arts and social responsibility (www.synergiesproject.com). Synergies enable different constituents to work together and deliver teaching and learning to students by creating (together) curricular, co-curricular, or ancillary learning activities. Constituents can be faculty from different programs/ colleges/ universities, as well as members from the community or the industry. Finally, imagine every university in the world to practice OU's teaching and learning model.

Imagine you are a faculty, anywhere in the world, able to teach everywhere in the world . . . 

THIS is what I call "Universal University", my vision for the Universities of the Future. Synergies (www.synergiesproject.com) builds the space to enable the existence of "Universal University". Although not connected to Synergies (yet), Harvard’s Curricle (harvard.edu) is a course exploration tool for Harvard University’s students. Students may use the tool to explore Harvard-courses following a "thin version" of the course exploration process I described here. I envision the creation of a similar tool that lays on top of Synergies Project and catalogues the offerings of any university and educational organization in the world.

"Universal University" will become a reality when universities, community, and industry from everywhere in the world synergize to create teaching and learning, and make it available to students anywhere in the world. Synergies will be implemented via articulation agreements between the different constituents. Finally, online teaching and learning, artificial intelligence, and augmented reality are the catalysts that will enable Synergies in Teaching and Learning.

"Wait a minute, how is the revenue from all this going to be distributed?"

"How about taxes? Who will pay, what, and where? "

ask the skeptics.

ask the accountants.

Really? I am not sure. But how complicated can this be to figure out, compared to building the Universe I described here?

Any thoughts, anyone?

Athan Vouzianas

Synergies Project Founder, Partner, and Team Leader;

Renaissance Engineers Founder and Adviser

Email: avouzianas@synergiesproject.com

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