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What’s Your Idea for the “Future University”? (Part 1)

1000-Future-University-Part-1
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What’s Your Idea for the “Future University”? (Part 1)

Have you ever thought about how the future university would look like? What would be its features, facilities, apps, and others that would improve its services to its students?

We have asked several Mahidol University International College (MUIC) students from the Computer Science, Communication Design and Creative Technology majors about their thoughts. And they sure came up with very interesting and practical ideas that can really help a lot of people on campus!

One-Stop Career Guide App

Ms. Kandel Suriyaporn
Communication Design, 3rd Year

The pressure to find a job and to start a career is common amongst current undergraduates in MUIC. From watching peers complete internships, start their own businesses, or even hearing professors mention thesis projects, we are constantly reminded of how little time we have left as students and how close we are to facing the real world.

However, resources are extremely limited, making the job/intern search process a rather stressful one for many. I propose creating a platform where students can find videos, tutorials and tips on how to create a resume, CV, cover letter and other necessary documents as well as other tips on how to find an internship or job that matches their needs. Students can ask questions, share ideas and receive answers from other users on the platform. The app can also have a page where users can post internship or job offers so anyone who is interested can apply. Because users consist of current students, alumni and professors, the app serves as a means of connecting current students with alumni and others who have been through the job search experience to ease the process for future generations. 

What do you think? Do you like these students’ ideas? Do you think these apps would truly make student life more convenient and productive?

MUIC has launched a competition called “MUIC Young Tech Creator (MY Tech)” for high school students who have ideas for a prototype project under the theme “The Future University.” 

Mental Health Professional Help

Mr. Karan Kumar
Computer Science, 2nd Year

I think an app where students can seek professional help right away with just a click would have a great positive impact on the overall well-being of students, especially during this time of the pandemic as it is easy to get lost in loneliness even when you are on call with many peers. Mental health is constantly ignored especially here in Thailand where there have been many reports of mental health issues growing rapidly among Thai individuals. 

To be more specific with the idea, let’s say a student is seeking some sort of help related to their mental health so they would be able to send an anonymous question that can’t be viewed and answered by anyone except mental health experts and give a response back as soon as possible. If experts feel like just a conversation through digital text may not be enough to help a certain user they may be able to invite the user to a video call so the user can get their own personal and professional therapist and it will show in their app so they would be able to message this individual therapist anytime and from anywhere. 

It not only creates an opportunity for a student to bond with someone but also encourages them to open up to another person—especially a trained therapist—if they have any mental health struggles instead of keeping to themselves.

Real-Time Campus Guide

Mr. Noppanat “Ice” Ampasi
Creative Technology, 1st Year

If you were a freshman at any university, the first obstacle would be familiarity with the new environment. Someone else also appears to have had the same idea, and thus created an app called Salaya blah blah to help introduce the facilities to the new students. The app uses Google Maps API as an interface to place things such as tram tracks, activities and athletic sites, pins for restaurants and cafes, and most importantly the buildings where students study.

I see an opportunity to improve the user’s experience. I would propose, with our current technology, that we can track the tram’s live location via a responder IoT. We could also do a 360-degree recording inside buildings and list all the rooms’ names so students know where to look for their rooms. Implementing a similar style to the Google map car that does the exact thing on the road, we can attach a 360-degree camera on a remote car and calculate the accurate movement of its height and movement speed for the best media output of the insides of each building. That way, new students can preview/plan their schedules accordingly since they know where to go and look for their classes. No more asking for directions, no more bothering seniors, everything you would like to know and see is at your fingertips, which makes the university much more “user-friendly” from an outsider’s perspective.

That’s only a fraction of the improvements I could fit into this “Future University” idea, but to list a few more: a 3D interactive map of the campus, cafes and restaurants’ menu integrated within the app for viewing, display of statistics like the number of students in any building or specific areas of the campus, bicycle numbers and recycled/segregated trash locations.

Another vague and abstract idea I had was to set up an experimental VR immersive learning station at the Co-working Space to gather data from other students. Simply put, the idea is to have any student be able to attend any class currently in session via a VR/360-degree immersive experience. We can then gauge the interest and data samples to incorporate better functions, implement prototypes, and potentially be able to set up a fun and relaxing experience that aids in seeking knowledge outside your required field. However, this idea seems unreasonable when faced with practical use and regulation policies, when compared to the very much, do-able app mentioned above, as this VR test station idea is also unrelated to the university as a whole, but focuses on the student’s growth instead.

Get to Know More Your Classes

Ms. Simran “Sim” Vorapathi
Creative Technology, 1st Year

The “Future University” requires efficiency and unity. For these necessities to be prominent in our university, we need a system wherein students can form a community by rating and reviewing past classes that they have taken.  This efficient system will both provide underclassmen a sense of guidance and upperclassmen a chance to help out their juniors or as we say “roon nong.” Being a student myself, I’ve seen MUIC group chats on Line bombarded with messages such as, “Review for ICGC 101 please,” etc. Sometimes students receive responses but most of the time they don’t.

In my vision, the system (a website or an app) for rating and reviewing could be called, “R&R with MUIC.” To go further into detail, there would be pages with class names and codes offered from MUIC. Each page could be for each major. For the rating portion, there would be a 1-to-5 star review of both the class material itself and the professor to keep it easy. The review part could be quite simple, 50-150 words for each class including how they liked it and what the classes consisted of (lectures, group work, grading, etc.). In addition to this, I believe that students’ identity be kept confidential. This will give students the courage to speak out if they had a bad experience.

In order to motivate students to post their ratings and reviews, activity hours could be given or each “R&R” could count for points in which students can receive prizes.

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