On the Role of Universities in Building Knowledge and Human-centred Societies

By Dhanjoo N. Ghista and Ravi S. Sharma.

Published by Journal of the World Universities Forum

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This article presents an enlightened and egalitarian framework that evaluates the impact of universities in the infrastructure, governance, talent and culture dimensions of enlightened, neo-humanist and knowledge societies. We will expound the above stated role of a university by first developing the concept of an enlightened knowledge society. The quality of life and its sustainability is to a large extent fashioned by the society, while society is itself a collectivity of human thought and ideals. What is implied then is that human talent and society influence one another. How then can this influence be positive or progressive? We need to know what constitutes positive or progressive influence, and hence what role the university has in inculcating this progressive influence. This is a fundamental enquiry, which constitutes the very foundation of the purpose, orientation, course and educational matrix of a university. This enquiry will take us through a panoramic survey of an enlightened knowledge society, of the different sectors of the society, of how these sectors provide creative and/or fulfilling expression for its people, and thereby enrich human life. More specifically, we look at dimensions covering the infrastructure, talent, cultural and governance facets of such a society. The enquiry will also involve a study of how the themes and structures of the societal sectors are to be developed at the university, to be subsequently implemented through its educational and research programs. We will develop this enquiry in stepwise fashion proceeding from our social roots to our climactic desideratum, as we embark on a romantic odyssey of the neo-humanist knowledge society and the role of the university in enabling this exalted progression.

Keywords: National Intellectual Capital, Learning Community, Knowledge Assets, Relational and Social Capital

Journal of the World Universities Forum, Volume 1, Issue 5, pp.115-130. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 834.813KB).

Prof. Dhanjoo N. Ghista

Director, Parkway Education, Parkway College, Singapore

As R. S. Kye has written in the article “Professor with a mission”: “[Dhanjoo Ghista] is a professor of professors,a world authority in biomedical engineering and physics, author or editor of 24 textbooks in subjects ranging from Cardiovascular physics to Socio-economic Democracy and the World government (Collective capitalism, Depovertization, Human rights, Template for sustainable peace) and inventor of life-saving implant devices. A pioneer of research into the effect of space travel on astronauts, his work as the founder and leading exponent of the new science of societal engineering has received recognition from academics and institutions alike.” Dr. Dhanjoo N. Ghista has published over 400 works in the fields of engineering, biomedicine, and the social sciences. He is also author/editor of over twenty books on biomedical engineering, engineering physiology, cardiovascular physics, orthopedic mechanics, medical and life physics, spinal injury biomedical engineering, and African development. He is a pioneer in the fields of biomedical engineering, healthcare engineering, neohumanist society, and sustainability community development, and is committed to the advancement of Developing Countries. Currently CAO and Register of newly opened Parkway Collage (of Parkway Group healthcare) based in Singapore, Dr. professor Ghista has previously worked as professor at the Nanyang Technological University, Professor and chairman of biomedical engineering at Osmania University , professor and founding chairman of the Biophysics Department at the United Arab Emirates University in AI Ain, UAE. Earlier he was professor of engineering, physics and medicine, as well as chairman of biomedical engineering, at McMaster University (in Canada).

Prof. Ravi S. Sharma

Associate Professor, Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Prior to this, he was founding Director (India Strategy) at NTU for a 2-year term. Ravi had spent the previous 10 years in industry as Asean Communications Industry Principal at IBM Global Services and before that, Director of the Multimedia Competency Centre of Deutsche Telekom Asia. Ravi’s teaching, consulting and research interests are in telecommunications best practices and strategies. His work has appeared in leading journals, conferences, trade publications and the broadcast media. He has been teaching IT and management courses since 1985 and enjoys this role as educator and mentor immensely. He has co-authored a graduate level text on KM Tools and Techniques. Ravi received his PhD in engineering from the University of Waterloo and is a Chartered Engineer (UK) and a Senior Member of the IEEE. He is an associate editor of the IEEE Communications Surveys and sits on the advisory boards of several professional and non-profit organizations.

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