Can technology help prepare higher education for life post-Brexit?
It currently feels like we’ve entered into a parallel universe where nothing is certain. But once the dust has settled on the referendum, I’m sure that our universities and institutions of higher education can continue to prosper. As it stands we have a world leading HE sector, and if the referendum result means anything at all, it means we’re going to need increasingly skilled graduates to drive our post-Brexit UK economy forward. That can only be a positive for higher education.
However, we must also continue to attract EU and non-EU students to our campuses even if tuition fees rise, funding is harder to come by and EU students no longer have access to support via the Student Loans Company. We have two years to make sure that the UK is still an attractive option for foreign students to attend our universities despite these potential challenges.
It’s time to blow the dust off and transform all our places of higher learning, bringing them kicking and screaming into a post-Brexit digitised era. Education technology must be at the heart of the plan and play an increasing role in attracting and retaining students to campuses up and down the country - delivering all the elements that make them increasingly attractive to students. State of the art digital campuses that provide students and teachers with a way to communicate, collaborate and learn will be an absolute must. Those universities that have dined out on reputation alone thus far will need to demonstrate they are more than just a seat of learning, attracting students to increasingly state of the art digital campuses, whilst delivering learning tools directly to smartphones, tablets and wearables. Technology is the global enabler – and goodness knows we’re now playing on a truly global stage.
No stone must be left unturned, universities must continue to be global in outlook, internationally connected and overall be an attractive option to talented people who want to study here. If we can make the most of the next two years to get our campuses up to speed digitally, there is a very bright future for higher education, and no reason believe we can’t or won’t succeed to provide the skills required to help the UK succeed.