Monday, December 1, 2014

Higher Education on the Cusp of Change

Education is changing faster than many officials and traditional systems can understand. A study by Dr. Starr describes how education in the U.K., U.S., Australia, Canada, South Africa and New Zealand is changing rapidly based on a number of pressures. She conducted semi-structured focus groups with a 199 participants in her target markets to understand how technology is changing everything. 

Pressures in budgeting and financing are apparent. As traditional education becomes more expensive state and national budgets are increasingly strained. This is creating pressure to change and streamline the educational process. New policies and procedures are designed to reign in those costs and educational excesses. 

Universities are also finding themselves challenged by new technology and learning methods. In multiple ways it is making some traditional universities obsolete and they have opted to try and adapt new technology quickly. Despite their best efforts technology is adapting faster than they can find ways of implementing it. 

The nature of work of professors is also going through a tough transition. Professors won’t have the large support of union power going forward, will need to be available 24/7, and will likely have their working conditions changed. This doesn’t mean it will be positive or negative but the way things were done in the past are not likely to be done in the future. 

Higher education is moving through a developmental period in which the seeds were sewn 15 or so years ago. Technology, globalization, budgets and the demographics of students have placed pressures in new places and cracking higher education as we know it. The rapid change of higher education is likely to speed in the near future as new successes and failures in educational models become apparent. 

Starr, K. (2014). Implications of radically transformational challenges confronting education business leadership. Business Education & Accreditation, 6 (2).

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