In the national discussion over tuition fees, access and success rates of university students, and decolonisation, one aspect of modern education that deserves more attention is technology: how it is changing our world and how educational institutions can equip graduates to be competitive in this new digital world.

I recently attended the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, where the umbrella theme was the fourth industrial revolution – robotics, self-learning machines, nanotechnology, genome research and other innovations that were the themes of science fiction when I was a student. This is the world we must prepare new graduates to enter, and where we want them to be leaders if we are to ensure South Africa’s competitiveness.

The Global Universities Leaders Forum, which meets annually at the WEF, explored how different universities are doing this and how we can learn from each other, and collectively anticipate the needs of future graduates – and hence adapt our current practices.