Part 1 -What are the mega trends?
Higher Education in the 21st century will need to be accountable for measurable, value enhancing outcomes for stakeholders. For students – a superior job and career. For employers – a competitive, skilled workforce. For governments – high quality human resources to power the economy. For institutions – being at the cutting edge of relevance and value to their ‘customers’.
- Global mobility – the highest growth in the college going age group will come from emerging markets in Asia especially South Asia, Middle East and from select countries in Africa. This is due to a favorable ‘youth’ age demographic that these countries are experiencing and increasing aspirations within the middle class who see higher education as a ladder for lifelong success. Additionally, unlike in the past, students, faculty and employers are also globally ‘mobile’.
- Private investments will meet the increasing demand – public universities have reached peak scale and in many cases are not adaptable to quick adjustments to the changing needs of the industry or embracing on new technologies and teaching methods.
- Integration with industry – to ensure curriculum and skill building is job relevant, industry certified and universities are seen as a partner for idea and innovation incubation for research and development. Large, global employers and innovation driven companies of all sizes are focusing on influencing curriculum and hiring in large numbers from newer, nimbler universities.
- Digital technologies – ranging from simple campus management software or CRM (https://www.leadsquared.com/online-demo/) to delivery of instruction, blended learning, distance education, assessments to distance education. Digital delivery of campus processes and teaching, learning, assessment has been proven to improve efficiency, superior use of expensive faculty time and better, measurable and demonstrable student outcomes.
In the next article I will write about what are the actionable opportunities for universities to stay relevant, and in fact thrive, in the 21st century.
Author: Ajay Shukla