What Does A Future Ready University Look Like?
The face of education and the workforce has been steadily changing over the years. By 2020, the focus of students around education is expected to shift drastically. Universities need to adapt and cater to the market to compete.
What does that mean for brick and mortar institutions? And, how can universities be future ready? Here are some insights into the changing climate of education and needs of future-ready students.
How are students changing?
High school graduates face increased competition entering university and the workplace. The world has become entwined in a global economy. This global competition makes success difficult to grasp for anyone without the proper tools.
Future-ready students have the right competencies to compete in the global career market. Lifelong learning skills, adaptability, and resourcefulness are only some of the necessary traits to compete for the jobs of the future. In today’s economy, there are more paths than ever to a successful career and a formal education is only one of the possibilities. Universities must understand the evolving job market to help students compete.
Some schools, like Griffith University, have begun focusing on empowering students to be ready for the challenges awaiting them in the workplace. However, holding seminars and workshops is not enough to attract the students of tomorrow.
Adapting the University Model
Universities will need to evolve their teaching models, offer different courses and degree paths, and embrace online learning to compete with other education options.
Coventry University, in the U.K., is embarking on a journey towards future readiness over the next five years. The program will offer over 50 degrees, entirely online. While online degrees are not a new idea, most mainstream universities have shied away from offering degrees entirely online. However, the students of the future will demand more flexibility in their education, something online study grants them.
Future-ready universities will also need to embrace online discussion groups, lectures, and technology to compete in the changing educational market. Students are more ingratiated in technology than ever before and accommodating that change will spell success for institutions of higher learning.
With the advent of Coursera, universities are already becoming involved in global education sharing. However, the landscape of education will continue to develop with a higher value being placed on lifelong learning for individuals to stay competitive in their careers. Universities who embrace short courses, online lectures and adaptability will see an increase in professional students. Career minded people are looking for quick ways to boost their market value, making resources like Ted Talks increasingly popular.
The other issue many universities need to address in their quest for future readiness is the type of degrees offered. There is an increasing demand for diverse STEM professions and medical specialties. Many students have turned to technical colleges and specialized programs to engage in hands-on learning which will prepare them for a career. Meanwhile, traditional universities are being left behind. Future-ready universities will put a greater emphasis on technology and hands-on learning which can lead to a career in STEM.
Blazing a Unique Path
Universities need to develop individual plans to cater to future-ready students. Specialization, innovation and personalized degree paths are all ways to separate your school from the pack. Each year more students are choosing alternative education paths. It’s the job of the future-ready university to build value for students.
Universities need to employ social media and digital marketing to display new offerings to students. Competing in the higher education market will require schools to be tech savvy and intuitive to students changing needs.
How has your university embraced future readiness? What ideas do you have to produce future-ready students? We want to hear your thoughts.