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Riding the Tide of Disruption in Higher Education

Posted By Jasper McElrath, Monday, July 20, 2015

This is a modified excerpt; please find the original article here.

In an article posted on Dialogue Review, authors Dr. Mark Farrell and Dr. John Davis addressed the two main triggers of disruption in education: technological change and cost pressures. These disruptions are forcing universities (especially those deemed ‘non-elite’) across the world to evolve if they are to survive and thrive. 

Non-elite institutions may be capable and recognizable in their local markets, but are increasingly struggling for relevance and visibility in a global higher education world competing for the best talent (students, faculty, staff, partners). While Dr. Davis and Dr. Farrell don’t believe that all of these universities are under threat, they do believe that a good number of them will struggle unless they develop a value proposition that not only resonates with their stakeholders (students, faculty, employers, the professions, government), but clearly articulates what makes them different and why that distinction is relevant to the market.

The vast majority of students will not study at the world’s elite institutions, enrolling instead in programs that offer a compelling education and prepare them for life post graduation. With the rapid advances in technology providing affordable access to higher education almost anywhere in the world, along with the promise of lower costs, Dr. Davis and Dr. Farrell believe universities must address the challenges [technological changes and cost pressures] head-on instead of merely delivering content. They believe the time is prime for university leadership everywhere to disavow imitation and instead exhibit bold thinking designed to unleash the tremendous intellectual capital that is otherwise constrained by a static education model designed for a bygone era.

The institutions that bravely embrace this opportunity, placing students at the center of learning, and pursuing imaginative new initiatives will find themselves thriving, even with continued cost pressures and technological advances.

To learn more about the inevitable disruption in higher education please consider attending our annual conference in Manila, Philippines, where Dr. Farrell will be presenting on this topic during a highly participatory plenary session, The Great Debate: Do the Bricks and Mortar Matter?

To read Dr. Davis and Dr. Farrell’s full article, please click here.


Jasper McElrath is the Communications and Event Planning Intern at the Global Business School Network

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