The Regional Forum on Youth, Research, and Education was held on the 8th of February, 2024, at the Wyndham International Airport Hotel. This important academic event was co-organized by the "Ambassador Otto Federico von Feigenblatt" Interuniversity Lecture Series for Peace, Development, and Education and by the Andean Parliament. The event was attended by more than ten university presidents, as well as by the secretaries and sub-secretaries of the main governmental bodies dealing with education and research in the Republic of Ecuador. Her Excellency Dr. Rosalia Arteaga, 39th President of the Republic of Ecuador, was one of the guests of honor and she joined the Interuniversity Lecture Series as a Distinguished Fellow.
The Forum included a welcome reception, followed by several formal presentations. Several institutions joined the Interuniversity Lecture Series as members, including more than ten universities. A ceremony was also held to welcome new fellows who received their distinctive blue stoles and medals. The open forum debate over the future education was a great opportunity for participants to share ideas and to identify important themes for future conferences.
Summary of Important Issues Identified at the Forum:
The challenge for higher education in the future is to adapt to an ever-changing world, driven by technological advances, demographic changes and transformations in the labor market. Higher education institutions face the challenge of preparing students for jobs that do not yet exist, fostering skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, and adaptability.
In addition, globalization and digitalization require educational institutions to offer intercultural learning experiences and advanced digital skills. Equity in access to higher education, as well as the inclusion of diverse perspectives and cultures, also pose significant challenges.
Another crucial challenge is to ensure that higher education is affordable and accessible to all, regardless of socio-economic background. Environmental sustainability and the role of higher education in solving global challenges, such as climate change and inequality, will also be fundamental aspects to be addressed in the future.
In summary, higher education faces the challenge of constantly evolving to prepare students for a changing world, promoting values such as equity, sustainability.