In an Irish Times article Can We Build the Perfect Citizen? discussing the book How Markets fail – the logic of economic calamities by John Cassidy, Rita McGrath is quoted as follows:
Getting the balance right in that mix between broad and niche skills and technical and non-technical disciplines, is crucial, agrees Prof Rita McGrath from Columbia University, a seasoned observer of Ireland. “The Irish university education system forces young people to select extremely narrow specialties early – some even in fields that are not particularly relevant to the future such as conventional chemistry, for instance.
“My suggestion here is that the specific choice of focus for study be delayed by two years, to allow young people to gain skills and also to experiment in a variety of fields. This would give them greater adaptability in a changing world and could prove to add greatly to Ireland’s economic resilience,” she adds.
Another area that should be addressed, is championing entrepreneurship and business innovation among the citizenry in general, she says. “There is a need for a greater interest in and comfort with business. For many people in Ireland, business isn’t seen as something that is all that interesting. Ireland’s future entrepreneurs, its innovators, and its leaders, would be well served by early and positive exposure to business skills and by social norms that encourage business activity,” she says.
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