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Four Drivers for Change

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Four key drivers in the higher education market can be described. Each driver has a radical change potential for higher education institutions and together they mutually influence each other and span the room in which higher education likely will develop.
There are two content and curriculum-related drivers (i.e. (1) personalised higher education and (2) Future Skill focus) and two organisation-structure related drivers (i.e. (1) multi-institutional study pathways, (2) Lifelong Higher Learning). The profile, shape and nature of higher education in the future will be most probably a certain pattern of configuration along the impact each of the four key drivers, called “pillars of change”, and will influence the development of higher education strategies.

1 – An emerging focus on Future Skills radically changes the current definition of graduate attributes in higher education: The focus on a “next mode” of studying (focus on Future Skills: autonomous learning, self-organisation, applying and reflecting knowledge, creativity and innovation, etc.) gradually replaces a reduced/narrow focus on academic and valid knowledge acquisition as a means to provide correct answers for known questions based on a curriculum which is focused on defined skills for fixed professions.

2 – Higher education increasingly becomes a multi-institutional study experience: The provision of higher education increasingly moves from a ‘one-institution’ model to a ‘multi-institution’ model in which higher education is provided through alliances of several institutions.

3 – Students build their own personalized curriculum: The elements of choice in academic programs enlarge. The curriculum of academic programs moves from a fully predefined and ‘up-front’ given structure to a more flexible, personalised and participatory model in which students actively cooperate with professors/teachers/advisors in curriculum building of higher education programs.

4 – Higher education institutions turn towards providing offerings for lifelong higher learning services: The current model of higher education, to prepare students (up front) for a future profession, is equally complimented with higher lifelong learning offerings.