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The higher education sector needs a fundamental rethinking


More than 2 billion students are expected to enroll in higher education worldwide in the next 20 years as more countries advance their educational efforts, Patrick Brothers, co-CEO of the company HolonIQsaid during the opening of the event on November 16.

This means that the existing system of restrictions will need to innovate and work together to ensure that the demands of students are met.

Raja Naik, CEO of the company Qualified education, said the sector needs to “fundamentally rethink” what education providers offer and how they offer it. “We have to empower our students,” he said. “The routes they’re looking at are more diverse than before.”

He stressed the importance of “creating truly global graduates” and said NYU’s global programs, which allow students to study in different countries throughout their degree, are a great example of this.

Speakers throughout the event emphasized that the university model, especially in the UK, is outdated and a change of focus is needed.

“Organizations are still putting out the same baskets they’ve been offering for centuries”

“Students are in the driver’s seat” and want influence, choice, flexibility and mobility, added Mary Kernack Cook, former CEO UCAS and network chairman of the article Emerge Educationwho spoke on a panel with Naik.

She added that higher education providers need to understand that young people will have multiple careers and employers and may even have a side hustle and continue learning online throughout their working lives.

“But organizations are still handing out the same baskets they’ve been offering for centuries.”

Speaking at a panel discussion on strategic shifts in higher education and the response of universities, Ed Fido, CEO London Interdisciplinary Schoolthe London-based higher education provider, founded in 2017 with a degree-awarding mandate, said there is an assumption that a university degree will get you a job, but there is no focus on training or the skills required.

“There is an agreement that ratings and powers [of an institution] lead to a good job, but education takes a back seat,” he said.

Sven Shut, CEO of the company IU Groupadded that institutions need to be more “learner-centric” as student choices change.

Investors are also looking at employment opportunities, training and bridging the skills gap. Three investors on the panel explore Europe edtech investment landscape, everyone agreed that startups and companies focused on helping students achieve career success are needed — and worth investing in.

This includes higher education companies that are disrupting the international level, such as virtual internships, said Cedric Kops, head Mediahuis Ventures.

HolonIQ estimates that about $17.4 billion in venture capital has been invested in technology companies this year. His research found that education accounts for $7 trillion in global GDP. Together, the education, health and climate sectors account for a third of global GDP.

In addition, the focus was on the gender diversity gap that remains in the education sector. Maria Spies, one of HolonIQ’s CEOs, highlighted that while a large percentage of teaching professionals and educators are women, only 20% of university leaders worldwide are women and only 9% of leading technology companies are run by women.

“The number of women in the industry is huge, but they’re not making it into those leadership positions,” Spies said, adding that action is needed to address the issue.

Speakers also explored the impact of AI on education throughout the day, agreeing that AI has huge potential, particularly in testing and assessment, and in language learning.

The Global Impact Summit in London is part of HolonIQ’s 100 Days of Impact, which is hosting 14 events around the world to share ideas and thoughts and foster connections for a more inclusive and sustainable future.

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