Skip to main content
Home » Education Technology » Why the future university campus will be digital first
Future of EdTech Q1 2022

Why the future university campus will be digital first

iStock / Getty Images Plus / elenabs

Charlotte Coles

Head of Content, Digital Event Series, Times Higher Education, Digital Universities Week

Long before the pandemic hit, higher education was ripe for disruption. Now universities must plan for a future where digital is front and centre of institutional missions and strategies.

The rapid transition to online education delivery has provided a myriad of possibilities for institutions to deliver more flexible, personalised learning opportunities for students at scale.

Given the rapidly progressing technology, improved opportunities for lifelong learning will be needed to support, upskill and reskill a future workforce. It must move away from the traditional trajectory of education-employment-career that has dominated higher education for the past century.

As digital technologies and automation advance so do fears around the future of work and the skills needed to respond to our next global crisis. The answer? Education, of course.

Universities must build a more adaptable institution to deliver forward-thinking digital-first modalities. 

The educational “metaverse” is coming

The next leap into the digital transformation of higher education will require more than just moving learning online. The advent of the educational metaverse promises huge changes to the ways universities deliver learning: engaging immersive learning experiences, campus activities that use the latest digital technologies and the relationship between higher education and industry.

However, modifying the higher education model ultimately comes down to a change of mindset; universities must build a more adaptable institution to deliver forward-thinking digital-first modalities.

There must be sufficient digital awareness among an institution’s executive team if they are to make core strategic decisions that will determine future success. Their ability to encourage and embed a culture of experimentation and innovation will be vital to allow staff and students to make the most of digital tools and deliver world-class education experiences to future generations.

Collaboration will be vital

At present, higher education lacks the resources, knowledge and infrastructure to deliver effective digital transformation and prepare young people for the digital workplace.

Strategic partnerships with key industry players will be crucial for universities to shore up global resilience against future crises and enable more inclusive learning opportunities for all.

Disruptive education has become the new normal, while unsettling at times, it can also provide great scope for change. In the end, the real winners will be those who choose to embrace this change and reshape the future of education in a digital-first world.

Next article