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How digital learners are reshaping the university campus

Hats off to a new report that explores how a combination of new technology and the changing demographics of students will reinvent the educational campus of the future

For hundreds, if not thousands of years, education has followed the same process: someone with knowledge and understanding of a subject attempts to transfer this knowledge to a group of less knowledgeable people. Although the process has remained largely the same, the world has changed drastically around it.

Not only do we understand a lot more about how best to teach, but there have also been numerous advancements in everything from building design to personal technology that have changed the way we interact on a physical and social level. Many of these changes have been harnessed by industries and by governments, but education has been slow to catch up.

‘Students consume at least some of their course materials through digital media…’

Computer technology, for example, has totally changed the way we work and live, and has also influenced education. But what we’re starting to see now is the next wave of effects. Not only are people using computers, this use of computers has started to change how they process material – and other technology is being used to gain insights into this.

This has begun to influence education; many students now consume at least some of their course materials through digital media. Other technologies, like virtual reality, let people explore environments and objects remotely and collaborate effectively across distances. Harnessing such technologies to enhance education is vitally important.

Another important factor in the development of the education sector is the influence of fluctuating demographics as our world continues to become more closely integrated and more globalised. Increases in foreign student numbers at many leading universities and more mature students looking for an edge in an ever more competitive workplace will further alter the funding environment for universities and necessitate rethinking services and engagement strategies. Universities will also have to think carefully about how effectively they are using their space. Novel ways of using their space to its maximum potential will need to be explored, such as making the building ‘smart’ and partnering with other organisations.

Jellybean Learning: The Future of the University Campus examines the major trends that are going to shape universities in the future. It explores examples of how universities have already been responding to these forces and provides a range of analysis on what universities can do in the future to best adapt to the future. Jellybean Learning is available here from AUDE and WORKTECH Academy.

Access the full Jellybean Learning: The Future of the University Campus report see here. Arraz Makhzani is a workplace analyst at UnWork