These assist institutions to have a meaningful relationship between ideas and realities, thus assisting learners, public policymakers and industries as well as society in the quest for deeper understanding and in providing solutions to current and emerging challenges.
Essentially, the current epoch is characterised by exponential growth of computing technologies that is integrating a significant number of human functions and this is expressed prominently in artificial intelligence and machine-learning, nanotechnologies and biotechnologies. Conventionally, this epoch is named the 4th Industrial Revolution (4th IR).
Convergence and mutually reinforcing computer speed, power and significantly reduced data storage costs provide infinite possibilities that will improve human efficiency and productivity while at the same time potentially having a massive disruptive impact.
The 4th IR is a double-edged sword that has positive and negative aspects that need equal attention, and universities are best positioned to do that if they are responsive and agile.