Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
The massive shifts you must know about
From the ever-widening skills gap in the job market to the pandemic’s impacts on learning and hiring, the future of higher education is hard to predict.
Currently, there are monumental shifts in EdTech, driving the adoption of remote learning.
Also, Universities and colleges have a hard time to remain abreast of current trends by reprogramming their curricula to align with the changing nature of work.
Here is an overview of what is shaping higher learning…
73% of what students learn in schools can be automated. Leaders in higher learning institutions are being forced to rethink how they prepare students for the future of work where artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities deliver much better results in task execution (and in a shorter time).
Many universities are leveraging AI to automate their time-sensitive academic and administrative tasks.
The automation have found use in enhancing enrollment, improving IT processes, and boosting student learning experiences.
Even though AI holds a big promise in higher education, its growth and higher learning adoption remain low. Costs are the major impediment.
A significant percentage of universities don’t yet have a budget for AI, so learning still happens via antiquated modes.
Following decades of the growth of degrees at the expense of practical skills, pedagogy now shifts focus to practical skills.
Most institutions of higher learning are now bent on nurturing entrepreneurial resilience among students.
They are focused on equipping them with the ability to continuously learn and reinvent themselves and their professional paths as many times as life demands.
New course programs are practical-oriented and keen on imparting learners with knowledge, competencies, and skills that are in high demand.
Primarily, the rapid growth in robotics and AI has widened the skill gaps across many industries. The division of labor among humans, machine and algorithms, is set to generate 133 million new roles across the world by 2022.
Similarly, the effect of innovation-driven computerization, the complexities of job processes, and the fragmented dynamics of the current working environment aggregately bring about the need for new skills across industries.
While college enrollment rates are trending upwards in middle-income countries, the numbers have stagnated in high-income nations.
This can be attributed to the revival of the blue-collar economy in developed nations and the increased demand for STEM professionals in developing countries.
Then again, there is a reducing number of secondary school graduates joined with a spate of admission scandals, far-reaching tension about school expenses, and piles of college debt.
These factors are seemingly discouraging college enrollment in the US.
Disconnects between college and the workplace
Countless surveys show what employers think. They believe that college graduates are awfully unprepared for the job market. Universities continue to be blamed for failing to prepare students adequately.
Practical skills deficiency among graduates is fueling the demand for advanced degrees and professional certifications.
In another approach to bridge the gap in skills between college graduates and the job market, higher education leaders have shifted focus on global collaborations.
University programs are now seeking global endorsements and borderless qualification viability.
This is one way for western institutions to remain relevant even as students increasingly look overseas for world-class educational opportunities.
The border issues
Tightened immigration policies have exponentially restricted student mobility. Today, students in other nations have to find the right schools and programs within their borders.
This is a sharp turn from 10 years ago, where one-third of students preferred to study in developed nations.
The inability to draw in new global students by U.S. schools and colleges is advantageous for learning institutions in different nations, for example, Australia and Canada.
Australia, specifically, has recorded high enrollment rates since the start of 2016.
Who is at fault for this change? Among the elements driving this change include growing nationalism, volatile social and political environments, high costs of advanced education, and visa restrictions in the U.S.
A few learning institutions in developed countries have responded with agility by delivering programs online and collaborating with local learning centers.
The age of the non-traditional student
There is an increasing number of part-time learners and online learners. Higher learning institutions are under pressure to provide flexible courses to support the needs of the non-traditional student.
These have to be satisfied by the adoption of education technology and open online courses. Video conferencing, virtual reality, and augmented reality are getting adopted in higher education to support the trend.
Shortly before the pandemic struck, 28% of higher learning institutions had adopted VR technology. The use of immersive technology in education has rapidly increased during the pandemic.
The benefits of the tech in education delivery include contactless learning, high engagement, experiential learning, and contextualized learning.
Focus on the Returns
Enrolment rates are declining as students focus on proof of ROI before signing up. As that happens, several states have reduced state funding for high education.
Somewhere in the future, there might be no funding for higher education at all.
Higher education leaders now have to prove the value of their programs in the economy, personal development of learners, and social mobility.
Competing short course programs cultivate creativity, experience, and thinking-they represent the future of higher learning.
On the flip side, universities are increasingly working together with corporates to devise the ideal strategies for training. Today, there is a fast adoption of Corporate Partnership Programs in college faculties.
Furthermore, as the demand most applicable and valuable mix of skills for every worker continuously shifts, Competency-Based Education (CBE) is picking up noticeably.
CBE causes universities to address individual students’ requirements and emphasizes personalization.
Technology, finances and politics are among the biggest influencers of trends in higher learning. Stay on top of these changes to make informed decisions in your career path.
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