Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Developing a Good College-Company Relationship

Are universities too cozy with industry? In certain respects, they are not cozy enough, says Anoop Gupta, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s education product group. The software company is gearing up for a conference in Paris next week, sponsored along with Unesco, called the Education Leaders Forum. In an interview with The Chronicle, Mr. Gupta said that higher education could be doing a better job of preparing students for life, and work, in the coming century.

“Absolutely there should be a tighter relationship,” Mr. Gupta said, noting that universities could integrate certification in particular software packages into their curriculum. (He cited a few examples of such software, which had Redmond, Wash., as their home address.)

But it’s about much more than creating workers for Microsoft, he said. “It’s about digital literacy,” about equipping graduates with the tools to be responsive to today’s fast-moving economy. Universities can do that, said Mr. Gupta—who was a professor at Stanford University for 11 years—without becoming tools themselves. —Josh Fischman

The Chronicle

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