Senior lecturer explores impact of 4IR on academia

Kurt Naicker CA(SA), a senior lecturer at the North-West University’s (NWU)’s School of Accounting Sciences, recently published an article in the asa (Accountancy South Africa) magazine titled "Impact of the 4IR on academia", highlighting the challenges and opportunities presented by the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).

In his article, Kurt argues that the 4IR is fundamentally reshaping various facets of human life, including career opportunities and educational methodologies. He notes that traditional educational curricula are often deemed insufficient in equipping students with the skills and knowledge required for future job opportunities. Therefore, he emphasizes the urgency of reforming higher education curricula to meet the demands of the 4IR.

He believes that the inclusion of extracurricular programmes in emerging fields such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and data science is of great significance for educational institutions. He also stresses the importance of continuous assessment and modification of existing courses to incorporate the latest technological advancements.

“Innovative instructional methods must also accompany curriculum revisions. Incorporating a broader range of active learning methodologies such as project-based and problem-based learning is vital,” says Kurt.

To optimise the educational process, he recommends that institutions must embrace contemporary technologies. “AI-driven tutors, tailored to individual students, as well as virtual and augmented reality have the potential to provide highly immersive educational experiences.”

Despite the challenges presented by AI's rapid progression, Kurt is certain that AI and consequent curriculum modifications offer numerous benefits. He believes that universities have a crucial role in ensuring the relevance and value of academic degrees. He also believes that to thrive in the global economy in the 4IR, institutions must give priority to cultivating fundamental skills in graduates while also encompassing current technological proficiencies

Kurt Naicker

Kurt Naicker

Submitted on Mon, 01/22/2024 - 12:49