The Future of Colleges: 9 Inevitable Changes (Article from 2000)
Higher-education providers will become even more numerous and more diverse. The survival of some institutions, especially less-selective private colleges with small endowments and large programs in adult education, will be increasingly threatened by both domestic and foreign for-profit institutions, as well as nonprofit competitors like libraries and museums that also have entered the educational marketplace. Moreover, technological capabilities are encouraging the rise of global universities, which transcend national boundaries. The most successful institutions will be those that can respond quickest and offer a high-quality education to an international student body…
[My thoughts: There are more providers but I have not seen (and could not find) evidence of the private colleges being threatened just yet.]
Three basic types of colleges and universities are emerging. They are “brick universities,” or traditional residential institutions; “click universities,” or new, usually commercial virtual universities, like Unext.com and Jones International University; and “brick and click” universities, a combination of the first two. If current research on e-commerce is correct, the most competitive and attractive higher-education institutions will be “brick and click.” While consumers appreciate the convenience, ease, and freedom of services online, they also want a physical space where they can interact with others and obtain expert advice and assistance face-to-face…
[My thoughts: We are nowhere near this yet…]
Higher education is becoming more individualized; students, not institutions, will set the educational agenda. Increasingly, students will come from diverse backgrounds and will have a widening variety of educational needs. New technologies will enable them to receive their education at any time and any place — on a campus, in the office, at home, in the car, on vacation. Each student will be able to choose from a multitude of knowledge providers the form of instruction and courses most consistent with how he or she learns…
[My thoughts: NOPE, not there yet.]
The focus of higher education is shifting from teaching to learning. Colleges currently emphasize a commonality of process based on “seat time,” or the amount of time each student is taught. Students study for a defined number of hours, earn credits for each hour of study, and, after earning a specified number of credits, earn a degree. With the increasing number of educational providers, the individualization of education, and the growing diversity of the student body, however, that commonality of process is likely to be lost. The focus will shift to the outcomes that students achieve. Time will become the variable and learning the constant.
Such a development raises very large questions about the meaning of a two-year or four-year degree. It also shifts the definition of excellence from the institution’s selectivity in admitting students to the value that the institution demonstrably adds to each student’s learning experience.
[My thoughts: whilst I am seeing the thinking of learning institutions switch from thinking to learning, the delivery of that and grading “hours of study” for degree has not as yet changed.]
We also should expect other new forces to gain momentum:
The traditional functions of higher education could become unbundled. Colleges engage in teaching, research, and service — yet teaching is the only function that is usually thought of as profitable. Research, like college football, brings in dollars for only a small number of institutions. Service, by its very nature, is not remunerative.
Therefore, for-profit and other new providers in higher education are interested only in teaching — and will compete with traditional colleges solely in the realm of instruction. To the extent that colleges lose out to their new competitors, financial support from both government and private sources for two activities of vital national interest — research and service — will be lost…
[My thoughts: I could not find anything about this to provide any thoughts. Some Colleges are expanding what they offer…I am unaware of substantial changes.]
Faculty members will become increasingly independent of colleges and universities. The most renowned faculty members, those able to attract tens of thousands of students in an international marketplace, will become like rock stars. It is only a matter of time before we see the equivalent of an academic William Morris Agency. With a worldwide market in the hundreds of millions of students, a talent agent will be able to bring to a professor a book deal with Random House, a weekly program on PBS, a consulting contract with I.B.M., commercial endorsement opportunities, and a distance-learning course with a for-profit company in a total package of $5-million…
[My thoughts: I have seen this happen minimally but do not know if these instructors are attracting students.]
Degrees will wither in importance. Today, the meaning of a degree varies in content and quality, depending on the college. In essence, we offer thousands of different degrees, even if they are called by the same name. A degree now signifies a period of successful college attendance; the class rank indicates the relative success of the student; and the name of the college marks the quality of the degree.
However, with the change in emphasis from institutional process to educational outcomes, degrees will become far less meaningful. A transcript of each student’s competencies, including the specific information that the student knows or the skills that he or she can perform, will be far more desirable…
[My thoughts: We are not even close to being there yet.]
Every person will have an educational passport. In the future, each person’s education will occur not only in a cornucopia of different settings and geographic locales, but also via a plethora of different educational providers. As traditional degrees lose importance, the nation will need to establish a central bureau that records each person’s educational achievements — however and wherever they were gained — and that provides documentation. Such an educational passport, or portfolio, will record a student’s lifetime educational history…
[My thoughts: We are not even close.]
Dollars will follow the students more than the educators. With the growth in educational providers and the emphasis on outcomes, public and private financial supporters will increasingly invest in the educational consumer rather than the expanding grab bag of organizations that offer collegiate instruction. It’s quite possible that federal and state aid that currently supports institutions of higher education will be transferred directly to students…
[My thoughts: Again, not even close.]
What I have described is, in some sense, a ghost of Christmas future. While the trends are no more than one individual’s halting attempt to predict things to come, I have no doubt that the forces buffeting higher education today are powerful and will change it considerably. My fear is that America’s colleges will ignore them and the important questions that they demand we confront — or that, simply through complacency or the glacial speed of our decision-making processes, we will fail to respond in time to help shape tomorrow.
In the early years of the Industrial Revolution, the Yale Report of 1828 asked whether the needs of a changing society required either major or minor changes in higher education. The report concluded that it had asked the wrong question. The right question was, What is the purpose of higher education?…
Arthur E. Levine is president of Teachers College of Columbia University.
See complete article here: http://www.nyu.edu/classes/jepsen/chronicle102700.html
Now compare that 2000 article above to an article that predicts what Universities will look like in 2030.
Future perfect: what will universities look like in 2030? (Article from 2016)
In 15 years, we will have no one to teach. The professional jobs for which we prepare students will be done by intelligent machines
The impact of robotics and artificial intelligence on every aspect of our lives is grossly underestimated. If we cautiously allow a doubling of technological impact every 18 months, 10 doublings in 15 years gives an increase of 1,000 times by 2030. Imagine your mobile device 1,000 times more effective…
The academic response to the technological deluge has been to shove some IT and a bit of programming into the syllabus. This is akin to applying a sticking plaster to a decapitated and dying body. Massive open online courses open the academic treasure trove to many people if supported by live online tutors, but this will not provide academics with a lifeline indefinitely. IBM’s Watson is being trained to answer call centre queries in natural language. It would also make an ideal tutor for Moocs: always available and always up to date…
But while universities and academics will be consigned to history, learning may yet survive. Assuming we survive the transition to global unemployment, many will wallow in the hedonism and feelings of the Brave New Technological World. But if I am still alive by 2030, I hope to have a wise and erudite AI tutor and mentor… But this happy ending will come to pass only if those in power see the technological juggernaut for what it is and begin to work out what needs to be done before we all become roadkill on the information superhighway.
Eric Cooke is a retired senior tutor from the department of electronics and computer science at the University of Southampton.
The pedagogic pendulum will swing back towards the lecture as the importance of an analytical mind becomes appreciated once more
At present, universities are in a race to “flip the classroom”. In the name of superseding tedious, droning lecturers and their passive, sometimes slumbering – or even absent – student audiences, we are embracing electronically enhanced “active learning”. Now students can stay at home, absorb lecture content online and then come to campus merely for tutorials to discuss what they didn’t understand from their laptop…
But is this a revolution with long-term, transformational consequences? Or is it simply an extreme phase in the cycle of pedagogic fashion, from which the pendulum will have swung back towards more traditional campus norms by 2030?
Lost in the clamour for active learning and digital enhancement has been any defence of the unique, vital skills the traditional lecture develops. Tangibly, our tweeting, blogging, app-loving students are losing the capacity to listen at length, absorb a complex argument and summarise, dissect and evaluate what they hear as they hear it…
I don’t mean to suggest that universities will abandon e-learning and online enhancements, for these continue to change every part of our lives. Rather, the lecture will be re-energised, as the importance for students of a clear, focused and analytical mind becomes appreciated once more, and the need to control unfettered access to digital devices in education is understood.
Universities will ban laptops and smartphones from their classes, to regain the lecture or seminar room as a place where multitasking is suspended in favour of sustained attention to a single topic. Universities will need to overtly teach note-taking to every student, to revive the dying manual art of precis, distillation and organisation that is so critical to giving meaning to a lecture. And, by 2030, universities will have adopted a code that requires every recorded lecture, online course vehicle or Mooc to be balanced with face-to-face, academic-led dialogue, in which a student’s ability to reason and argue are methodically polished.
Warren Bebbington is vice-chancellor of the University of Adelaide, Australia. In 2013, he announced that Adelaide would offer considerably fewer live lectures and considerably more small-group teaching.
Exams that emphasise mastery of taught knowledge will no longer be the primary tool for judging student performance
or students and parents, landing a college place has become the defining symbol of a successful childhood, and their lives are organised towards hooking the prize catch.
So bricks and mortar universities will not disappear any time soon…acceptance by the object of their desire is only the beginning of our happy young protagonists’ life stories. Indeed, students at least need to finish their college years before they even get their bachelor – of arts or science. And that is where a number of enhancements are likely to be introduced by 2030.
First, educators will have figured out how to teach really hard concepts… Science will have made substantial progress in understanding how people learn and how to produce conditions that optimise learning. New technologies that deliver instruction will also collect precise data on what’s helping students the most and what is not working. A virtuous cycle of rapid feedback and revision to pedagogical innovations will permit the continuous improvement of both instruction and the scientific theories behind it.
Second, exams that emphasise mastery of taught knowledge will no longer be the primary tool for judging student performance. Instead, assessments will evaluate how well students are prepared for future learning – which is the point of university anyway…
Third, universities’ departmental fiefdoms will be broken up to support the interdisciplinary efforts needed to create innovative solutions to major societal problems, such as reducing reliance on non-renewable resources. Meeting great challenges depends on expertise from all the sciences and humanities, and bureaucratic and cultural barriers to problem-focused research must and will be removed.
New approaches to research, teaching and learning will require collaborative, creative students who know what it means to learn well. To ensure that they have such applicants, universities will need to fulfil their responsibility to pre-collegiate education. This includes pioneering ways to ensure that all children have an opportunity to learn well at the schools that will prepare them for a different – but still happy – ending to their childhoods. College admission will no longer serve as the dreamy end point, but as just one chapter in a long life of learning.
Dan Schwartz is dean and Candace Thille is assistant professor at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education.
Technology has found a place in universities, but nothing significant has changed
… In 1913, Thomas Edison predicted that “books will soon be obsolete” because educators would “teach every branch of human knowledge with the motion picture”. As we know, books survived (even if they are now migrating on to digital platforms), and motion pictures have had almost no influence on education. Still, Edison’s failure did not dampen the optimism of technology gurus. Over the past century, every new technology supposedly heralded a revolution in higher education…
For more than 30 years, Silicon Valley seers have claimed that personal computers, laptops, tablets, internet-connected whiteboards, computerised marking, massive open online courses, computer games and social networks would all transform higher education. Learning would become automated: cheaper and speedier. All of these technologies have found a place in universities, but nothing significant has changed. Lectures remain ubiquitous; human beings still mark most examinations and costs keep rising…
Technology champions blame their failed forecasts on the hidebound conservatism of universities. This facile explanation misses a vital point. All universities use modern technologies to transmit information, provide practice (as in language learning or mathematics) and to communicate across distances. But higher education is not just a matter of information and drill; it is also about wisdom…
In Choruses from The Rock, T. S. Eliot asks: “Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?” Universities understand the differences. Information, knowledge and drill are necessary, but they are not sufficient. To be wise, students must connect what they are learning to knowledge in other areas, to the great work of the past and to their personal experience. They need to be inspired to delve beneath the surface to the meaning of the material they are studying. Universities are not just purveyors of knowledge and skills, they are social institutions designed explicitly to help make students wise. And wisdom does not come only from lectures; students also acquire it from one another. In our diverse institutions, they learn tolerance, acceptance and fair play.
I have no crystal ball, but I am willing to stick my neck out and make a prediction. Universities of the future will be much like those of today.
Devices will replace academic faculty by 2030. The concept of individual campuses will slowly disappear. The two-semester pattern will be replaced by year-round learning
For the first 300 years after Harvard University was founded in 1636, American higher education consisted of young upper-class white men sitting in classrooms listening to lectures by older upper-class white men. Then, in the 1950s, a wave of change began that shows every sign of becoming a tsunami by the year 2030.
The first major change was the gender and racial composition of the campus, beginning with the introduction of women, followed by people of colour, into the student body, faculty and administration. Universal access for anyone who wishes to study or work in higher education will be significantly achieved by 2030.
Devices will replace faculty by 2030. There will be reliable e-learning options from numerous providers on multiple platforms, and students will select the ones most compatible with their preferred learning style. Earning “a degree” will lose importance as the range of credentials widens. Certificates from schools, workplaces and industry, alongside something akin to the merit badges earned by Scouts, will gain in respectability – especially once a new system of accreditation for them is developed.
Professors will typically appear remotely from some type of broadcast centre, and the concept of individual campuses will slowly disappear as more and more students pursue their studies from home, workplaces, park benches or coffee shops. Place-based education will not disappear entirely; as well as being places of learning, campuses are a force for socialisation, where children mature into adults through interaction with others before they embark on careers. But the traditional, highly inefficient two-semester pattern will certainly disappear, replaced by year-round learning…
Stephen Joel Trachtenberg is university professor of public service and president emeritus of George Washington University in Washington DC.
We will see a form of higher education that truly values a broader range of characteristics than those linked to subject knowledge or employability skills
There will be no higher education revolution over the next 15 years. Rather, we will see evolutionary development in several areas.
The first is provider types. Market forces demand that higher education providers clearly define their distinctive contribution to the catalogue of “choice” available to students, and I believe that we will see significantly more differentiation by 2030…
I also think we will see a form of higher education that truly values a broader range of characteristics than those linked to subject knowledge or employability skills. Attributes such as wisdom, tolerance, emotional intelligence, ethical understanding and cultural literacy will be seen as even more vital in preparing for true global interaction and personal and corporate impact..
Education delivery is already flexible, portable and not tied to place, and this development will continue. However, technology will not dissolve the need for universities to exist in physical form. I am convinced that there will always be significant numbers of students who want to “go” to university, to be part of a community of learners, educators and scholars exploring, disassembling and co-creating knowledge.
I believe that by 2030, higher education provision, in the UK at least, will be more clearly defined according to purpose and the nature of provision, such that only those providers that fully demonstrate the engagement of a community of teachers and scholars will be called universities. Other providers will be celebrated for being different and for offering choice.
In this way, we will see a global higher education landscape evolving that benefits in equal measure individuals, communities and the wider world in which we live.
Claire Taylor is pro vice-chancellor for academic strategy at St Mary’s University, Twickenham.
The real game changer will be viable measures of comparative student learning outcomes. These will lift teaching to a status closer to that enjoyed by research
… One incremental change is that participation in higher education will continue to grow everywhere, despite the flattening of average graduate starting salaries; those who leave education at 16 or 17 will find it ever harder to embark on a career. Meanwhile, sharp-eyed university leaders and marketing departments will entice students with new work experience-based offerings and German-style technical and vocational programmes.
But the real game changer will not be vocational education. Still less will it be the wholesale adoption of massive open online courses in place of pedagogies. Neither the lecture theatre nor the campus will fade into history. There will be one big transformation: viable measures of comparative student learning outcomes, including value added between enrolment and graduation. These measures will be as revolutionary in their effects as global research rankings have been. They will quickly overshadow the subjective consumerist metrics derived from student satisfaction and student engagement surveys. They will enable national and international comparisons of student achievement. They will also pull attention away from crude instrumental measures of outcomes and back towards the core processes of knowledge and intellectual formation…
Credible comparative measures of learning outcomes will finally, after all the talk, lift teaching to a status closer to that enjoyed by research. Of course, this will also provide a wider range of universities – and countries –with a chance to shine. Over time, most of the leading universities will do well in the learning measures: they have the resources and the smarts to meet the challenge. But new players will emerge, and students will have a stronger set of data for making choices. And instead of trends towards grade inflation and lighter workloads to prop up satisfaction indicators, we will all have incentives to continually improve actual cognitive development.
Simon Marginson is professor of international higher education at the UCL Institute of Education, and director of the Economic and Social Research Council/Higher Education Funding Council for England Centre for Global Higher Education.
See the complete article (and comments): https://www.timeshighereducation.com/features/what-will-universities-look-like-in-2030-future-perfect
What are your predictions?
Here is an article from 2015 that asks just that:
The B.C. government will likely have to hire hundreds of teachers and spend between $250 million and $300 million more each year on education, after the dramatic win by B.C. teachers in the Supreme Court of Canada on Thursday.
Hansman said it could take some time to restore class sizes to pre-2002 levels because the union has lost the equivalent of 3,500 full-time positions over the past 15 years.
He said the provincial government has a $1-billion contingency in its budget, which specifically named the teachers’ case as a possible use for some of the money.
In Surrey alone, the restoration of the clauses would cost an estimated $40 million a year. Surrey represents about 10 per cent of the entire provincial education system.
In 2014, superintendents’ association estimated it would cost more than $1 billion a year to return to 2002 service levels.
“This is a government that has ridiculed, condemned, mocked and criticized the people on the other side of the bargaining. They ripped up a duly negotiated collective agreement and then, according to (the B.C. Supreme Court), used the power of the state to provoke labour action. … That is a stinging indictment of a government that is malicious and bent on making the relationship worse not better.”
“Every kid in 2002 who had special needs got no damn help for 14 years because of that government, that’s what it means,” she said. “All those little kids in kindergarten (then) have finished high school and never got the support they needed.”
The 2014 judgment called for the government to pay the teachers’ federation $2 million in damages for extending the unconstitutional legislation to June 2013. Thursday judgment said the province needn’t pay the damages.
No retroactive grievances can be filed because the 2014 teachers’ contract contained a $105-million fund to address any grievances arising from the deletion of the contract clauses.
The British Columbia government says it wants to start talks with teachers to implement a Supreme Court of Canada decision that requires it to negotiate parts of their collective agreement including the number of students in a classroom.
The province first imposed legislation that removed teachers’ ability to bargain class size and composition in 2002.
At a background briefing, government officials said the decision does not reopen the entire contract but it does restore the class-size and composition provisions that were deleted in 2002.
Similar to the previous legislation, it restricted school boards’ power to determine staffing levels and establish the size and composition of classes or how many teacher assistants can be hired per student in a school.
“It’s going to mean that there’s going to be … a whole bunch of teachers’ positions restored in B.C. schools, a lot more frontline services for kids in B.C. and much better work life for our members in a very tumultuous school year of change,” he said in an interview.
The Canadian Labour Congress:
“The Supreme Court of Canada has sent a strong message to governments across the country that they must respect the collective bargaining process and cannot act unilaterally in stripping collective agreement protections,” said CLC president Hassan Yussuff.
“Given how hostile this week’s US election outcome was to the interests of working people, it is gratifying to be reminded that Canada’s constitution enshrines the principles of good faith bargaining and the right to strike,” said Yussuff.
“This is also a crucial victory for parents and children, and is an excellent example of how unions like the BC Teachers’ Federation are standing for fairness and for a better public education system across the country,” he added.
It will be very interesting to see how this rolls out for teachers and other industries with collective agreements.