EY is helping universities to prepare for a future higher education landscape that could look very different from that of today and, in the report, posits five “What if?” future scenarios to challenge universities to consider how to remain competitive:
- What if… the cost of learning is driven down to zero?
- What if… learning journeys are entirely flexible and customizable?
- What if… higher education providers are accountable for results?
- What if… commercialized research pays for itself?
- What if… technology could solve the global supply-demand mismatch?
WUN Executive Director Peter Lennie is one of the higher education experts who were interviewed for this report, and we asked how he sees WUN play a role in supporting university leaders in the process of reviewing the current higher education models, and on the road of innovation for the future.
“The report offers a provocative and highly speculative projection of the future of higher education. In exploring the major challenges highlighted in the report, leaders of WUN member universities will find that the diversity of the network makes WUN a powerful forum for exchange of information about how these challenges are best met”.
Universities need to innovate for a future that accommodates both degrees and micro-credentials, intellective and job-ready skills, and synchronous and asynchronous learning, using online or hybrid delivery models. Scenario planning will support a “future-back” approach to help university leaders envision a new era for higher education.