A positive happy new year message for 2016

I am pleased to be writing my first post of 2016, although I am fully aware that we are already in the fifth week of the year, but we have so many exciting projects that we have been working on that has kept us all very busy.

We had our annual company meeting last week, an opportunity for us to engage with other colleagues, share ideas, encourage best practice and learn about new ways that we can help our clients and help students. This year we had an external speaker attend our session, she was brought in as an exercise to remind us of the importance of education, but more so on how it actually did change her life. She spoke to us about having had an extremely troubled childhood from the age of 4, which led her to fall into a more troubled adolescent period, where she was subjected to drugs, suicide attempts and other dangerous life events that could have shaped the remainder of her life in a very different way. She finally came across someone that helped her, and a stroke of luck along with a helpful mentor that led her onto realising that she has so many means of accessing education. Realising how fortunate she actually was, particularly being here in the UK, she chose to pursue her education and used her misfortunes to help others realise the impact education can have and to help lead the youth of today’s world. She now works at a charity where she engages with young people and spreads her story to drive change and positivity.

My initial thoughts to her presentation were that of confusion, why do we have an external speaker? We know the importance of education, we work in the Higher Education industry, and we have all studied at university with most of us pursuing post graduate degrees and diplomas. Perhaps she should have been sent to a group of high school students?

However what it made me realise, is that her message was not to just to make us realise the importance of education, but to reflect. In my case, reflect on a daily basis why I personally work in Higher Education and reflect on how lucky I was to have access to education and how easy it all was for me to get into school and university. With a click of a button I can select a MOOC that I want and can learn on any topic that I wish. I already know that Education is the power that is needed to combat so many of today’s problems. Universities and Educational institution have the strongest power of all to change the world, to influence the leaders of the next centuries to come.

Why am I sharing this on this blog, because when that speaker spoke of her personal experience, it inspired to remind people why we work in Higher Education, how our work with universities contributes to helping so many around the world. A lot of the time we forget why we do what we do, our daily routine engulfs us that every so often we need to step back and look at the bigger picture.

Education comes in many forms; one way of educating the world is empowering data. Having worked with data for the last 6 years in the QS Intelligence Unit, we can see the impact data can have once transformed into intelligence. This impact is visible in every industry; at the Intelligence Unit we are always ensuring that our team members are keeping informed with the latest technologies that will ensure that we can the best out of our data.

We will be posting more details soon on all the exciting projects that are set to be released this year, including the very exciting EDU Data Summit that will take place in London between 8th and 10th June. A very belated Happy New Year to everyone, looking forward to exciting and engaging new year.

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