Ubiquity University Reinvents Competency-Based Higher Education

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Ubiquity Raises $2.3 Million to Launch Cutting-Edge Competency-Based Social Learning Platform in May 2015 to Help Students Get the Next Generation Skills Needed to Survive and Thrive in Today's Hyper-Complex World

Ubiquity University announced today that it has raised $2.3 Million and will launch a cutting-edge competency-based social learning platform in May 2015 that will enable a “whole new kind of education for a whole new kind of world.” Instantly global and radically affordable with a transformative online learning experience and partners across five continents, Ubiquity will be providing the education that employers and students say is needed for our rapidly-changing hyper­-complex world.

"The critical need now is not for industrial workers but for creative leaders able to think outside the very system that produced them." says Dr. James Garrison, President, Ubiquity University; Founder, State of the World Forum with Mikhail Gorbachev

With major ecological and societal challenges looming for the current generation of students, Ubiquity is designing a learning experience that will equip them with the competencies and qualities needed not only to successfully navigate the turbulence ahead but to thrive in the crucible of social innovation that is emerging.

In IBM’s Global CEO Study of 2010, over 1500 global leaders identified “hyper­-complexity” as their greatest challenge. These leaders agreed that higher education was not providing the quality of graduate needed to deal with it. The 2012 Global CEO Study built further on these findings. Key capacities global leaders said they needed were creativity, collaboration and complex problem­-solving. A worldwide student survey carried out by IBM the same year demonstrated students were seeing the world in the same way. Both leaders and students expressed frustration with the inability of current higher education to meet those needs. A McKinsey report on education in 2012 highlighted further the gap between the needs of employers and skills of graduates.

That the higher education system in the United States is in the early stages of major disruption is widely accepted now. ­ A google search of the term “disruption in higher education” returns over 60,000 hits with a 2014 Economist article high up the list. Disruptive Innovation Theory also tells us that there are phases of disruption. Initially, new technology is used with the old approach by encumbent institutions -- for example, MOOCs with “one-way talking-head” experts for students to passively consume. In the next phase, the best of the new technology is used by new market entrants to redesign the very experience of the user. Ubiquity University is redesigning higher education in order to meet the unmet needs of the day and capitalize on rapidly evolving online technology.

World-renowned learning experts, Peter Senge and Daniel Goldman in their recent book "The Triple Focus" note that there are "three crucial skill sets for navigating a fast­-paced world of increasing distraction and endangered person-­to-­person engagement—a world where the interconnections between people, objects, and the planet matter more than ever. Think of these skill sets as a triple ­focus—inner, other, and outer."

At Ubiquity, students’ learning experience will be rooted in what it takes to be an effective changemaker today. Academic study to understand current reality and explore leading­-edge thinking will be combined with hands­-on creative collaboration on change projects. This is combined with a self-­mastery program that enables students to develop the inner qualities needed for the creativity, collaboration and complex problem­-solving capacities identified in the IBM Global CEO surveys. A gamified competence-­based approach ensures high student retention and a rigorous scalable assessment system guarantees that students and employers know what competencies they can really demonstrate.

“We have specifically designed our curriculum for the future required for a hyper­complex world,” says Peter Merry, Chief Innovation Officer, and principal architect of Ubiquity’s curriculum design. “We are way beyond the MOOCs and are disrupting the disrupters. We are addressing students’ character as well as knowledge and teaching them to play the game to change the game.”

Annually, tens of millions of young people across the world graduate from high school and are qualified to go into higher education. They are not able, however, to pursue further learning because of high cost or lack of infrastructure, according to the OECD. There is a significant unmet need to provide an education that is globally accessible, relevant and engaging. Ubiquity University has been designed to meet that need.

For Further Information Contact:
Paul Taylor, Chief Marketing Officer, North America, paul.taylor(at)ubiquityuniversity(dot)org
Peter Merry, Chief Innovation Officer, Europe, peter.merry(at)ubiquityuniversity(dot)org

Disruptive Innovation ­ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disruptive_innovation
IBM Global CEO Study 2010 ­ http://ibm.com/services/us/ceo/ceostudy2010/index.html
IBM Worldwide Student Survey ­ http://ibm.com/services/us/ceo/ceostudy2010/futureleaders.html
McKinsey Education Report http://www.mckinsey.com/client_service/public_sector/mckinsey_center_for_government/education_to_employment
Goleman, Daniel. “The Triple Focus: A New Approach to Education.” http://morethansound.net, 2014­08­15
World Bank Statistics on Secondary and Higher Education: http://datatopics.worldbank.org/education

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