Can PROUT transform universities?

By Sohail Innayatullah
"While some will miss the good old days of the protected campus subsidized by the state with deep hierarchical structures along with the neck tie to bifurcate the mind from the heart - others will see this as a chance to innovate and create new universities".

From the editor:

Shrii P.R. advised that "we" (spiritual aspirants..) should inspire scientists so that more research into microvita will be done. Obviously this also implies that at one point microvita science will be taught at universities. What can we expect in terms of foreseeable futures of the university? What could be the ideal pedagogical climate to teach microvita science to students? Which factors should be taken into account?

Sohail Innayatullah (together with Jennifer Gidley) identified a few main trends, referred to as "drivers" which may influence the "University in Transformation" and updated their findings in a more recent essay in Gurukula Network magazine. The following drivers of university transformation were revisited:

• Globalization of education
• Virtualization
• Democratization peer to peer
• Ways of knowing knowledge on the edge

Some interesting observations were made which could be important, albeit general cues for learning and teaching a revolutionary subject such as microvita science. Just to pick a few: "While functional hierarchy leads to efficiency, dominator hierarchy leads to the death of innovation". Or, "In the ideal peer to peer world, it is the user who adds value, not the producer". At least, we see here certain trends which clearly set the system of education apart from the traditional form.

The fourth driver of university transformation, discussing (future) ways of knowing knowledge on the edge, seems almost designed for Shrii P.R. Sarkar's "new line of thinking": "Multiculturalism and neohumanism have infiltrated the university through the broader sustainability agenda. This has been a focus on solving global problems such as climate change through trans-disciplinary approaches to knowledge management. Non-western, indigenous and “Gaian” ways of knowing have not been marginal to these concerns but central to finding solutions to greed and overconsumption – the problem of cultural and economic obesity". Or, in Sarkar's words, "To solve a few problems in society in a nice way".

The closing chapters then discuss the necessity and implications of leaving behind factory models of learning and teaching, and give recommendations on PROUT* policy and strategy.

* PROUT is Progressive Utilisation Theory - Shrii P.R. Sarkar's socio-economic model for a neo-humanist society.

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