How University of Miami is capitalizing on the county’s unique location
Dr. Julio Frenk President – University of Miami
What is the main role of University of Miami as an institution within Greater Miami?
This university was opened only 29 years after the City of Miami was founded. The founders realized, as early as 1925, that the city needed a higher education center. We have developed a hemispheric strategy, which has five pillars. First, we need to study the hemisphere. By this, I mean the entire continent from Canada to the southern parts of Latin America. Because our hemisphere is the New World, you cannot understand it without also understanding the Old World, emphasizing a global perspective. Our advantage in Miami is that we are truly a cross road between the cities of the Americas. To better study the hemisphere, we have created the University of Miami Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas. The second pillar surrounds education exchange. We want to take education exchange to a whole new level, and for this, we have created the Hemispheric University Consortium where students will be able to move around universities and get credits for the courses they take. The third pillar is research. We already have an extensive and vast network of very talented researchers. The fourth is technological innovation. By partnering with businesses, government and civic organizations in Miami-Dade and South Florida, we can become the most comprehensive research university of the region. And the last pillar is healthcare. Our aim is to expand our already vast amount of patients and forge strategic and collaborative arrangements.
What are the main challenges in preparing today’s youth for an ever-changing job market?
Our success will be measured in how well we prepare our students for the rapid changes they will face in the labor market. Our graduates are entering a labor market that has never changed as fast as it is doing so right now. This is mostly because of advances in automation and artificial intelligence. This means that machines will displace plenty of jobs, but it also means that an important number of new jobs will be created. Some studies show that children entering elementary school this year will, by the time they graduate, work in jobs that don’t exist today. The way to address this is to have a university with an open architecture that allows people to enter as many times as they need to keep themselves updated. In addition to developing certain specific skills in specific areas, we also develop cross-cutting competencies that have to do with critical thinking, creativity, good communication skills, emotional intelligence and entrepreneurship.