Calls for investment in research and higher education to help tackle climate challenges

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Imperial College London’s president Alice Gast told how youngsters are “very interested” in making a difference in the world. She said: “They want what they’re learning to be applicable to important challenges, and climate challenges are front of mind. “They have worked with us as we look at how we can make the biggest difference in the energy transition and climate change. “I think they help drive us in areas of developing new curriculums and new areas of research.”

Ms Gast, praised UK universities for the innovation happening in research laboratories and lecture rooms across the country. She said governments and corporations needed to invest not only in technologies but students, adding: “We need the investments in research and higher education because we need to not only generate new ideas and new technologies but educate the talented workforce that will make them happen.

“It’s an investment both in technologies and these students to provide opportunities for employees to make a difference in this climate challenge. I think corporations are really seizing that opportunity.”

While speaking at the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS) in Dubai, she told how distance education “is here to stay”. The Covid-19 pandemic prompted a sudden shift to online learning with millions of Britons attending classes virtually from home.

She assured the university experience was not being replaced with online classes, adding: “Technology can be an assist and make teaching and educational experiences better”. GMIS is co-chaired by the United Arab Emirate’s Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization.

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