Higher Education – An Academic Perspective Looking Forward

Higher Education - Looking Forward
An Educator’s Perspective:
A thousand year old industry
on the cusp of profound change
IUA Symposium, Dublin
29th September 2014
The University of the Future
Drivers for Change
Democratisation of Knowledge & Access
• Contestability of Market & Funding
• Digital Technologies
• Global Mobility
• Integration with Industry
Evolving University Models
The EY Education team
Our capabilities and service offerings
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The EY Education Team
Professor Stephanie Fahey
Oceania, Education Lead Partner
Formerly DVC Global Engagement Monash
University, Melbourne
[email protected]
Local EY partner, Dublin
John Higgins
[email protected]
Colm Devine
[email protected]
More than 300 staff globally with education
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The University of the Future
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The University of the Future
The higher education sector is undergoing a fundamental
transformation in terms of its role in society, mode of operation, and
economic structure and value.
What is worrying is that institutions appear to be in denial about the
magnitude and the inevitability of the changes ahead
Our primary hypothesis is that the dominant university model: a
broad-based teaching and research institution, supported by a
large asset-base and in-house back-office, will prove unviable, in
all but a few cases over the next 3 to 5 years (we underestimated
the pace of change in our 2012 report). ‘The University of the
Future’ (2012)
What I would like to do today is review some of these challenges with
a particular focus on the implications for universities and policy makers
in Ireland.
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The Drivers of Change
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Drivers for Change
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Broad Implications
If universities do not choose their niches – the market will effectively
“impose” niches upon them - so the message is: choose now.
create new, leaner centred business models as competition
increases for staff, students, funding and partners.
public institutions will be run like corporations, while maintaining the
necessary freedom of inquiry and academic rigour.
Private institutions will exploit profitable market niches,
Policy makers will seek to maintain steady growth in access to
university education while inevitably tightening the public purse
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Necessary adaptions
These changes will force universities to adapt in a number of ways:
Breadth of programs — concentrate resources on a smaller range
of programs?
Target customers — Universities will need to have a clear strategy
around target student segments and their specific needs and
Channels to market — Universities will need to rethink the role of
digital channels and third party partnerships in recruiting students and
delivering teaching and research programs.
Back office — The asset base and university administration will need
to be significantly leaner than it is today.
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Evolving University Models
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Evolving University Models
The dominant university model in Australia and elsewhere, is a broadbased teaching and research institution, supported by a large asset
► Significant transformation of university business models in the coming
Three models:
► Streamline status quo - broad-based teaching and research
institutions, but will transform the way they deliver their services and
administer their organisations
► Niche operators - Chooses particular customer segments to focus
on - enabling the targeted development of course offerings, sales
channels, and delivery
► Transformers - Private providers and new entrants will carve out
new positions in the traditional sector, creating new markets that
merge parts of the higher education sector with other sectors.
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Evolving Models – The Implications for
The inevitable evolution of University Models has pushed educators, policy
makers and private sector entities to begin to question some of the “scared cows”
of the University system in Australia. These include:
The number of ‘world-class’ universities that a country the size of Australia
can realistically continue to support
The breath of disciplines that a University should focus on and the place for
specialisation in education provision
The role of the academic and the continuing involvement of all academics in
teaching/research/content development
The responsibility of HE sector not only to educate students but also prepare
them for the workforce (technical vs university training)
The traditional ethos surrounding decision making and governance in
universities which are not suited to rapidly changing circumstances
Universities in Ireland will not escape these competitive pressures
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