2018 Top 10 HE predictions (#1-5 text in full)


#1 Online learning will increase: Between 2011 & 2015, numbers of American students studying degrees at UK universities online rose by 26%, Canadian by 41%, Australian 125% & South African 135%. There are over 3,000 UG and PG online & distance learning (without attendance) courses currently listed by the Complete University Guide as being offered in the UK.

#2 Experience from the horse’s mouth: As competition becomes yet more fierce at home & abroad, the need to impress, to tell your institution’s story (in a way that stands out from competitors) becomes greater still. Content (marketing) is king: by way of testimonials, case studies, success stories, achievements, awards, innovation & outstanding partnerships, featured heavily across the web & social media.

#3 Technology-led campus development: As ‘consumer’ expectations increase, so too does the demand & budget to upgrade campus facilities for today’s digitally native students. Since 2006, £27.9bn has been spent improving physical infrastructure (excluding day-to-day maintenance). Over £19.4bn capital investment is forecast 2016/17 to 2019/20.

#4 Digital technology impact: The widespread availability of mobile & desk-based devices has fuelled growth of blended learning, which can bring together the best of digital and face-to-face teaching methods. JISC found that over 84% of students already use their smartphones to support learning. Digital technology can be used to teach in a variety of different & more inclusive ways (classroom/in-class technology/online materials & forums). It can facilitate more interactive, engaging & flexible learning materials in a range of multimedia formats.

#5 More outsourcing: HE’s largest expenditure is staff costs, over half of total income, forecast to increase by 17.9% from £14,985 million in 2015/16 to £17,662 million in 2019/20. Short-term external contract & project work will increase to relieve pressure on in-house budgets & teams, avoiding on costs & potential restrictions which come with permanent staff. In 2011, Universities UK identified six key drivers for outsourcing services: Cost reduction; improving quality; focusing on core capabilities; accessing market-leading talent; partnering to increase innovation; reducing time to market.

                                                                                Up next, #6-10


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