Scenario C: uni_wifi
Collaborative Society & Growing Economy
The broader outlook
An expansion in innovation and creative industries, including digital and technology sectors, has delivered economic growth to complement the recovering financial services industry.
The exponential expansion of these sectors is contributing to cultural change enhancing worldwide understanding and collaboration. Government, business and individuals have a global outlook. Trade and environmental agreements contribute to a high degree of consensus on disparate issues.
Regulations are now more often sought and established at global institutions rather than within national jurisdictions.
Globally connected universities offering student-tailored courses are the norm. Prospective students hope to enter a network of international universities rather than a single institution. Networks have been formalised by universities creating global brands of alliances that have supplanted the appeal of the individual institution.
These networks collaborate on everything from course design to research. Research collaboration is on a global scale with multidisciplinary teams working on projects funded from multiple governments and business. Students from different universities within the same network can attend the same lecture in their own particular university theatres or at home whilst simultaneously holding a worldwide debate with their peers on the course content. Students expect to be able to move seamlessly between institutions throughout their studies and receive tutorials from their professors around the world.
The innovative economy is demanding individuals with a high degree of understanding of an academic subject and also the skills to collaborate across professions. This has led to many mixed and post-graduate degrees. In conjunction with the high degree of personalisation demanded by students, university networks are able to bring the strengths of departments together to provide the variety and specialisation required for research.
Technology savvy is essential to operate in the job market. This has conflated vocational and academic higher education. There is now a need to train staff to remain current with innovations in the market. This constant up-skilling has had the added effect of enhancing participation in higher education. Those universities that are able to adapt and build international networks will flourish with some early advantage for those with strong brands if they are able to build on this initial market advantage. New strong players will emerge. Universities that are locally focussed or inward looking will struggle.
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