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WQU CEO Daphne Kis Discusses The Future of Higher Education

Photo of panel at Milken 2022

At the 2022 Milken Global Conference, WorldQuant University CEO Daphne Kis joined a panel of experts to discuss the future of higher education in the wake of a pandemic that has not only fundamentally upended people’s lives, but also the broader economy. Daphne and her fellow panelists discussed how we might redesign and reimagine the systems of higher education to be more equitable and better meet our nation’s economic, social, and workplace needs.

Much of the conversation was framed around whether or not in today’s current economic climate, higher education made sense. Over the last two years, higher education has lost more than one million students in enrollment as people have begun questioning the value of higher education and demanding more flexibility in how and where they learn. Meanwhile, nontraditional education opportunities like online education and part-time certification programs have emerged as an important pathway for students around the world to gain opportunities for better paying jobs and the ability to build wealth.

Daphne also discussed how online and remote learning had a hand in making the classroom experience more equitable for marginalized students and students of color. Because WorldQuant University is digitally native, students from around the world have equal opportunity to collaborate with other learners from other countries and cultures. Daphne underscored the importance and value of this aspect by pointing out that after the global pandemic forced many companies to embrace remote work, this kind of collaborative work better reflects the ways in which more and more people are working together.

Daphne and her fellow panelists also discussed the role of the private sector in upskilling its employee base, equitable recruitment and admissions policies, and how educators are leveling the playing field to equalize educational opportunities.

All panelists agreed that technology and the new models of education that it has enabled have an important role to play in the future of higher education, particularly in serving the vast majority of learners from around the world in gaining the necessary skills and experience for the jobs of tomorrow.

Additional panel discussion topics included the path forward for online learning, the democratization of the classroom, and the credentials of the future.

Daphne was joined by Jeffrey Sellingo of The Atlantic, Maria Flynn, President and CEO, Jobs for the Future (JFF), Maud Mandel, President and Professor of History, Williams College, Daniel Markovits, Guido Calabresi Professor of Law, Yale Law School, Eloy Ortiz Oakley, Chancellor, California Community Colleges.

View a recording of the full session here.

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