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  • Time to put on our thinking caps and develop progressive and sustainable higher education models
  • Posted By:
  • Willy R
  • Posted On:
  • 10-Apr-2014
  • Time to put on our thinking caps and develop progressive and sustainable higher education models
    Just like a few major industries that have disintegrated in terms of business models over the past two decades, higher education too is on the verge of a massive transformation in the next two decades.
     
    Just like organizations that refused to change their processes and models in keeping with the evolving trends dissolve and disappear, universities and colleges likewise have to keep up to times in terms of relevancy, efficiency and quality to survive. There are many different factors that shape the future of our higher education.

    Constantly evolving technological advancements is the first important factor that drives our higher education. Many universities that realized the impact of technology quickly became a part of the Massive Open Online Course or MOOC. Their initiative was a massive success as many thousands of students continued to enrol in the online course.

    It goes without saying that limiting factors such as regionalism and boundaries are broken down by the power of new technology.  Today, education can be delivered at a global scale by the smallest of colleges.

    For most of our institutions today, admission dealmakers include the physical facilities on offer. Most universities are very proud about the kind of five star facilities they offer and this trend is definitely being morphed by technology.

    For example, when it comes to libraries in universities, most of them have changed over to digital versions of books. Digital learning centers have taken the place of storage-centred physical libraries. In fact, many universities share a single centralized digital library where articles and scholarly journals are stored digitally. Whenever and from wherever they are, students can now access a storehouse of knowledge through their digital devices.

    The second major factor that drives our higher education is the cost of tuition. Today, students and parents are unable to bear the burden of the hugely expensive education costs. Tuition fee is constantly rising at most of the universities and for this very reason; these institutions are targeted by our federal government and media. These institutions are at a risk of being exposed to unsustainable financial and budgeting models in lieu of our country’s transforming economic challenges and demographics.

    Our public perception that higher education is no more viable is another major factor driving the system. Critics continue to report that employment rates and salaries today do not justify the cost of higher education and this in turn has fuelled this perception.

    The need of the hour is to develop a strong and sustainable career focused education and offer students value added co-curricular and academic programs rather than just continuing to add debt to their lives.

    Traditional academic structure continues to be adopted by some universities in our country. These colleges emphasize on liberal arts and offer individual disciplines. Being stuck to traditional models could deeply hamper progress and will not equip students to succeed in the face of today’s career demands.

    No doubt, our education system is at cross roads. We can however ensure optimum adaptability and survival by being student focused. What we have to do is to offer quality education and once again power our country to focus on this most valuable export commodity.







 

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