top of page

What is the future of higher education?

Higher education is at crossroads, especially in a disruptive world. The universities are struggling to make way for more inclusion of technology and the removal of outdated processes. The current university leaders have to face many question in the hyper-competitive world. All the answers need timely and strategic responses.

Universities are thinking of preparing students and creating a workforce to perform roles which don't even exist. Students might have to face challenges that do not even exist and compete in industries whose business models are still not active.

Higher education is facing a period of uncertainty

Almost everyone was shaken by the pandemic and it made way to new learning patterns. Technology is changing way too quickly, and the skills acquired in schools turns outdated in some years. The pace at which technology has evolved limits access to the traditional model of education.

Experts are now suggesting that education needs to be less structured and offer room for more variety. There can be many credentials, multiple streams and new paths. This will help individuals to reskill and put those skills to work too.

New ways to access learning

Educators are expected to think differently and choose educational products. There are new forms of content delivery, and new ways of learning are invented. Apart from that, there are new ways of certifications to show that someone has learnt new concepts and skills.

Education has entered the phase of democratisation and must reach out to everyone.

Individualised and accessible learning

With the help of technology, higher education can be individualised too. We need to put more focus on the types of credentials which are valued. Individuals can benefit from learning content specific to business and finance instead of going for an MBA. Also, those who wish to reach excellence in their job can individualise their educational needs.

Learning in multiple environments is the need of the hour. For example, it can be virtual interaction or augmented or virtual reality in the lesson plan. Students need to be exposed to a new learning modality in various fields.

Welcoming new-age tutors

You must have heard of ChatGPT, a new artificial intelligence-powered chatbot. It comes with advanced conversational abilities. They can turn into future tutors. It has a huge amount of data on varied topics. It can be used to help students excel academically. Although currently, it shows the inability to be focused on a specific task. ChatGPT can write essays, solve coding problems and even answer philosophical questions. So, students can choose personalised tutoring through computers. Scholars predict that computers can be intelligent tutors for higher education.

Co-creation, connectedness and collaboration

Students are becoming partners or co-creators in learning. Nowadays, the concept of teachers taking over the room of students and abiding by what the students say is a thing of the past. The typical classroom will be superseded soon, and students will look for experiences beyond the school. Learning projects need to allow collaboration between individuals and other groups. Students need to apply their knowledge to real-life issues. Learn anywhere, anytime concept is fast catching up.

It is easier to have a global reach, and students can get access to anything at their fingertips. Technology is now a must in learning, and students must be equipped with relevant skills. Due to technology, there are no boundaries in education, and classrooms can exist anywhere.There is an interconnectedness of information which can help individuals handle problems better.

Developing a learner's first-approach

The way teaching is delivered also being reshaped. The one model of teaching and learning might not fit all. Students in higher education need to have their learning journey channelised well. Great outcomes can only happen through good engagement.

An individualised learning plan will help learners to gather knowledge at their own pace. It must be as per their abilities and should be very engaging. Higher education must be include an enquiry-based approach that must strike curiosity, imagination and design thinking.

Future educators

Education and technology will go hand-in-hand to meet future educational needs. It is also expected of a teacher in higher education to adapt and grow. Curriculum teaching needs to be extended beyond the classroom. The educator must motivate the students to empower them well, be innovative and avail new opportunities coming their way. Teachers of higher education are expected to provide students with personalised educational content.

Teachers should be prepared to double up as data collectors, analysts and planners. They should work as collaborators, problem-solvers and researchers to help students learn and grow.

Uninteruppted learning

Education technology will offer many learning methods to higher studies learners. It can be online, mobile or computer-based learning. Higher education will see the integration of the latest technology, which will have beneficial and constructive outcomes. A diverse learning environment will support high school learners across different ages and locations.

As per a projection, by 2026 online education market is expected to reach $11.6 billion. It shows that education technology shifted to the new norm, not just briefly, due to COVID. It has turned into a long-term answer to all education-related problems.

Higher education will be driven by artificial intelligence and machine learning. The platforms can analyse and identify performance data to check if learners need additional support. Targeted recommendations and feedback will help students in higher studies. There is no demographic restriction in online education/ higher education. One can easily collaborate with foreign universities and opt for several online courses.

A look into the early version of personalised learning

PLATO or Programmed Logic for Automated Teaching Operation – a new personalised learning system was introduced in 1972. It was created by Don Bitzer, a professor of electrical engineering at the University of Illinois. It permitted up to 1000 students to log onto a mainframe computer. The students could learn and complete several courses while also receiving feedback. Further, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University designed software in 1985 using advances in artificial intelligence and cognitive psychology.

It claims that technological advances have enabled computers to be made like effective human tutors. Even though it had more than 10,00 pieces of educational software, it was of low quality and could not match up to real tutoring. The next generation of intelligent tutoring systems came in 2001. It could have conversations with students in written English. The early chatbots could use advances in natural language processing and interact with students on various subjects.

The first chatbots

The early AI chatbots were able to talk to students and provide tutoring. This was by 2007, and the chatbots provided learning outcomes similar to human tutors' effects. Although the concept of tutors as chatbots was completely experimental. By 2010, the way people interact with technology changed completely through the many advances in artificial intelligence. People can talk on their phones and cars and even have virtual assistants at home.

To put it shortly, ed-tech is the future of higher education.

Writen by Heena Ahmed


3 views0 comments


bottom of page