The pace of change in education today is unprecedented, with both teaching methods and content evolving rapidly. This has significant implications for educators, who must adapt their approach to ensure students are prepared for the working environment of tomorrow. This means embracing technology and resources to enhance the learning experience. Higher education institutions must pay attention to these key trends if they hope to remain competitive in the future.
In research commissioned by Anthology, we found that the student preferences for courses ‘delivered fully online’ was double that of the university leaders surveyed. Asked whether ‘they felt their institution had the appropriate digital learning tools in place for students to succeed?’ 60% of university leaders felt they didn’t and 51% said they were ‘considering additional technology investments moving forward’. As demand for online grows and the competition increases, the challenge is to keep pace with rapidly advancing technology while providing meaningful human interaction and support to students online.
Education as a means to a good job
As students question the value of higher education, institutions must provide clear pathways to careers and employment. From our survey, 58% of students globally said they ‘want more career-focused services designed to help them secure a job after graduation’. As new jobs emerge at a rapid pace, institutions must provide relevant, in-demand skills that align with market needs while fostering critical thinking and creativity. Micro-credential programs are also a good way to support learners throughout their career path.
The decline in student mental health
Effective learning cannot occur without a foundation of good health and well-being. 43% of global students in our survey reported ‘struggling with their emotional wellbeing’. Institutions have a vested interest in developing solutions which address these challenges prioritising student well-being whilst providing resources for support.
Data insights can inform and improve education, yet a staggering 94% of higher education leaders say they are ‘still looking for new opportunities to aggregate and analyse student data to provide more insights as they consider student needs of the future’. The challenge is to incorporate data-driven teaching whilst addressing privacy concerns and ensuring the use of the data is ethical and transparent.
These trends will lead to significant changes in many aspects of the education environment and guide institutions in creating a supportive and inclusive environment that promotes learning, growth, and achievement for all students.
By Louise Thorpe
Louise has +25 years of experience in higher education. Previously the Head of Academic Innovation at Sheffield Hallam University and Head of Learning and Teaching Strategy and Enhancement at the University of Sheffield. Louise is Vice President and Head of Client Experience, EMEA at Anthology.