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Wednesday, July 04, 2018

What does the ever-changing higher education landscape hold for the future? | Opinion - YourStory

Photo: Ravi Bhalla
Ravi Bhalla, Co-founder and CEO of BlackBeltHelp, a leading one-stop student services provider in US higher-ed explains, "For a millennium, the sole purpose of getting an education was broadening one’s intellectual horizons, a luxury reserved only for the rich and elite. But if you look around today, that era is long gone, for good."

The best and oldest universities in the world – whether the Ivy League schools or Oxbridge, once hubs of such intellectual aspirations –have long opened their doors to everyone who makes the cut. Along with this welcome alteration, the purpose of acquiring higher education has also changed. Today’s student goes to a college or a university to become equipped with skills that can land him/her a well-paying job, unlike his/her predecessors who were focused solely on intellectual gratification.

Changing student demographics, structures, and processes 
Along with the structural and operational changes, the definition and means of acquiring an education have also changed in the last two decades. Earlier, pursuing a degree meant driving to college every morning to attend your lessons with 50 other classmates. Today, it’s logging into your online course from the comfort of your living room after tucking your kids in bed. Today, a fair share of non-traditional students (outside the 18-24 age group, parents, working individuals, etc.) study in non-traditional settings (MOOCs, distance learning, etc.) through non-traditional mediums (mobile learning, video-based lessons, hybrid learning ecosystems, digital textbooks, etc.).

Besides technological advancements, this transformation in educational structures, modes of knowledge dissemination, and student demographics has a lot to owe to the policy changes which have made higher education more accessible...

While intelligent one-on-one tutoring systems like Carnegie Learning or Third Space Learning and AI learning companions and teaching assistants like Georgia Tech professor Ashok Goel’s Jill Watson might take another decade to become commonplace, one needs to note that we are already on our way. The most crucial step in the direction has been the change in our approach from being process-focused to student-focused, which is bound to have profound implications for higher education. Don’t you think?

Source: YourStory

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