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International Journal of Development Research

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In this paper, we revisit Higher Education 4.0 and examine the power of universities as agents of new knowledge and innovations, for sustainable community development and progressive society building. With the benefit of retrospective economic analysis, we may posit that universities will continue to be central to socio-economic development. We can envision that in the face of a changing economic landscape, universities have the potential to serve as powerful agents of change toward a more equitable, just, and sustainable world. The power of universities in this modern era lies in their ability to create and disseminate knowledge, foster critical thinking, and promote social and economic development. Universities play a crucial role in (i) producing knowledge across academic fields, that is relevant to the needs of society, (ii) contributing to economic, industrial, and healthcare developments, to develop vibrant and functionally sustainable communities, and (iii) in training the next generation of leaders and innovators who can shape the future for a higher level of civilization. Specifically, this article presents the development of three significant composites of Higher Education 4.0: 1) Core Higher Education: Basic Education and Natural Sciences, Humanities and Law in Society; 2) STEM2 Education in Technological development, Healthcare Delivery and Community Well-being, comprising: engineering and technology, agricultural engineering and technology, biomedical engineering in translational medicine; and 3) Universities to provide Integrated education at the Undergraduate level, and New knowledge at the Graduate level. Together, they describe how 21st century universities can contribute to (i) living values and living standards, new knowledge and innovations, for (ii) sustainable community development and progressive society building. The significant finding is that the innovative transformation Higher Education presents both challenges and opportunities for universities in this 21st century. While the integration of advanced technology and digitalization has the potential to transform teaching and learning, universities can also use their power to promote social and economic development and challenge dominant economic and political structures. By doing so, universities can play a crucial role in building a more equitable, just, and progressive society.







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Education | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Humanities, Natural Sciences, Law, STEM, Agricultural Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Medicine, Sustainable Community, Society Building

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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Open Access


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Gold: This publication is openly available in an open access journal/series