XIM University (Bhubaneswar) hosted the much-awaited JHEASA annual conference last November. The theme of this year's meeting was “Entrepreneurship and Higher Education” and was well attended by 69 delegates including the President of Jesuit Conference of South Asia.
The Jesuit Higher Education Association of South Asia (JHEASA) is the association of all Jesuit higher education institutions in South Asia and this organization gathers institutions of management, business administration, engineering, law and other professional institutions with the aim of addressing the needs of today's bright young minds. The world today is continuously undergoing changes in the educational and business panorama. This is the reason why higher education system has recognized the need for greater innovation that leads to the promotion of social and economic growth and the development of nations around the world. Several academic institutions now recognize the importance of an entrepreneurial mindset to guide young people towards a rewarding and productive future.
The conference revolved around the idea of doing business with greater ethical value to make this earth a better place to live, which means not only making profits and avoiding losses, but also making the earth more breathable to be on. It is only a little more than a century since universities took on the task of research to find the causes behind problems and to solve them, but the knowledge acquired was restricted to students and professional academic experts. Today, however, knowledge needs to be shared for socio-economic benefit and general welfare, thus contributing to "the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good". In other words, Universities cannot fail to have universal perspectives and that is why modernization and creativity will lead to social and economic development. These thoughts were conveyed through talks given by professionals in the field.
Speakers shared what was being done in their universities or other higher education institutions to train entrepreneurs in subjects such as waste, water and energy management, events, hydroponic culture, startups, and a variety of other areas related to the industry. Another main topic discussed at the event was "JHEASA's future planning for 2022-23".
JHEASA continues its journey in promoting a higher education that seeks to build a more modern, just and humane society. The Jesuit higher education institutions seek not only to educate and do research but also to be a social force, having opened conversations about the relationship between entrepreneurship and higher education. The conference was an opportunity to discuss relevant issues in the education sector and measures that can help usher in a new era that would enable the world to move beyond existing approaches to embrace more radical innovation and improvement.