The Cost of Education vs. the Cost of Ignorance
At Tuesday’s Ellucian Live General Session, two speakers doubled down on the energy and passion that Magic Johnson brought to the stage on Monday.
I was honored to interview Dr. Mansoor al Awar, the Founder and Chancellor of Hamdan Bin Mohammed SMART University in the United Arab Emirates. Dr. Mansoor is transforming higher education in the Middle East by leveraging technology to enhance institutional accessibility, flexibility, and affordability – goals he refers to as his “three pillars.” He reflected on the importance of transforming casual learners into committed, life-long pursuers of knowledge. And he reminded everyone that “costs of education pale in comparison to the costs of ignorance.”
Then, Deng Adut discussed his journey from child soldier in Sudan to successful lawyer in Australia. Even with all he has been through in his life, Deng still feels he owes a debt to the next generation – so he uses his success as a force multiplier that helps others succeed as well. He truly is a reminder that our investments in education bring exponential returns. And he offered the audience a challenge: While we touch the lives of 18 million students on any given day, there are another 3.5 billion people we’ve yet to engage. Looks like we have a new quota to reach.
Next, I moved on to the Partners Exhibit Hall. Of particular interest was the Innovation Lab and demonstrations of the awesome educational potential of virtual reality. That, of course, wasn’t the only highlight – and I had the chance to thank everyone who helped Ellucian make this week so great at the Partner’s Reception later in the evening.
And what would a trip to Denver be without blue jeans, a rodeo and a mechanical bull? We closed out the day with a Customer Appreciation Event that was all things western. I hope everyone in our customer and partner communities had as much fun as I did.
Another great Ellucian Live is nearly in the books. Thanks to everyone who helped make 2016 so special.