Dr. Harin Sellahewa on the Future of Education

24 Jun 2020

Dr. Harin Sellahewa, Dean of School of Computing, Reader in Computer Science at the University of Buckingham, discusses education and its future. The discussion covers the impact of COVID-19 on universities, the need for reskilling, and collaboration between enterprises and universities.

Hosted by Anand Verma, European Head of Digital Services for Infosys and Founder & CEO of Brilliant Basics, Infosys’ Design Studios.

“Universities have this fantastic repository, an ocean-worth of expertize. Enterprises, they don't necessarily have that level of expertize but they know what needs to be done. And that's where I believe that marriage needs to happen, so that you tap into that vast knowledge of universities, made the transfer, wire the enterprises, and you jointly come up with solutions to some of the biggest problems that we have.” Dr. Harin Sellahewa

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Show Notes

  • 00:47

    Harin shares his thoughts on what's Covid-19 is doing in the world of education.

  • 03:22

    Harin shares his background.

  • 04:45

    How have things changed in last seven, eight weeks?

  • 08:37

    Students today ask: "Why would I pay the money to go into university and not have the student experience?" What’s Harin’s guidance to the students listening to this podcast about what they should be thinking about and doing?

  • 12:39

    Harin shares his thoughts on whether traditional universities and higher education institutions will have to evolve to operate in more of a hybrid model, digital and physical.

  • 17:02

    Harin shares his thoughts on what higher education will be actually doing going forward. He shares his thoughts on the type of stuff that will be teaching - will it be different to the type of stuff that was teaching before?

  • 19:23

    Anand and Harin talk about enterprise and university partnership and entrepreneurship.

  • 22:41

    Education 4.0. Has Harin seen this change happening in his own role and within university already?

  • 27:17

    Harin talks about the misconceptions that he sees and opportunities that this misconception, or lack of, provides professors to also grow in their own learning journey.

  • 30:35

    With regards to the enterprise and university partnership, what does Harin think that both enterprise and a university need to do to inculcate more of that? Because that can only create more opportunities, both for enterprises and of course for universities to extract good learning.

  • 36:00

    Anand and Harin talk about global problems and how universities, and for that matter, technology, can solve some of the basic problems, and how to inculcate that into the academic programs.

  • 41:19

    Harin shares his favourite book.

  • 43:17

    How can people find Harin online?

  • Music by Ruhan Verma, 13-year-old upcoming Drummer and Producer



About Dr. Harin Sellahewa

Dr. Harin Sellahewa

Dr. Harin Sellahewa holds a BSc in Information Systems and a DPhil in Computing, both from the University of Buckingham. During the latter stages of his DPhil, he worked as a Research Associate on the EU-funded FP6 project, SecurePhone, led by Professor Sabah Jassim. He then joined the Gray Cancer Institute (now the Gray Institute for Radiation Oncology & Biology, University of Oxford), as a post-doctoral scientist to work with Professor Boris Vojnovic on the award winning CyMap project. Harin’s role was to develop algorithms to automatically detect, count and track cells.

He rejoined Buckingham in 2008 as a researcher, became a Senior Lecturer in July 2012 and a Reader in January 2018. He was appointed Head of Applied Computing Department (in School of Science) in November 2014, Interim Dean of School of Computing from 1st September 2018, and Dean of Computing from 1st September 2019. Since joining Buckingham, Harin has held the roles of Programme Director, Admissions Tutor, Research Officer and Link Tutor.

Selected links from the episode