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Emerging student needs disrupting higher education

Andy Hines (Foresight, University of Houston, Houston, Texas, USA)

On the Horizon

ISSN: 1074-8121

Article publication date: 14 August 2017

667

Abstract

Purpose

A research project exploring emerging student needs identified two potentially disruptive shifts for the future of higher education: a shift in balance of power from institutions toward the students and a shift in the purpose of higher education away from job preparation. The research suggests that current drivers are eventually moving toward these shifts but that several “accelerators” may hasten their arrival. The paper aims to describe the process for identifying the emerging needs, the potentially disruptive shifts and key implications for higher education.

Design/methodology/approach

A modified version of the University of Houston’s “Framework Foresight” method was used to identify the emerging needs, the disruptive shifts and their implications.

Findings

Emerging student needs suggest two potential disruptive shifts for higher education: shift in balance of power from institutions toward the students and shift in the purpose of higher education away from job preparation.

Practical implications

Current institutions of higher education may need to reconsider their purpose, mission and value proposition in light of these disruptive shifts.

Social implications

Beyond just higher education, there is a need for a larger society-wide dialogue about the emerging future and how to best prepare students for it.

Originality/value

This extensive research carried out from the student perspective suggests disruptive shifts ahead relating to the purpose and future of higher education.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The author acknowledges Lumina Foundation for supporting the research project “The Future of Student Needs: 2025 and Beyond, from which this article is derived”.

Citation

Hines, A. (2017), "Emerging student needs disrupting higher education", On the Horizon, Vol. 25 No. 3, pp. 197-208. https://doi.org/10.1108/OTH-02-2017-0010

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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