UK Higher Education as the Global Brand?
We recently came across an?interesting Washington Post article?from the US about the need to embrace the opportunities of online education, and warning about the potential threat that it may pose. It sounded familiar, in fact very like a publication from a UK project I worked on in the 1990s. One particular bold statement from then still rings true:
“Though there are relatively few institutions in the U.K. that deliver educational products to a world-wide student base, all U.K. higher education establishments should view the globally available products as potential substitutes for their own. These may erode their market share in activities that make a critical contribution to the fixed cost structure of their institutions.?
Educational Technology & Society 3(2), 2000
Perhaps it takes 20 years for higher education to spot opportunities and to react to threats, but we are beginning to see another part of our prediction come true – that responses would ?? promote a competitive environment that will leave room for few global suppliers.? These suppliers are the Courseras and FutureLearns, not the institutions themselves, but this perhaps the new face of global higher education.
Of particular interest in the US article was the prediction: ?Embracing online education is crucial because I foresee a great divide coming. Schools that produce content, both for their own use and to sell to other schools, will do very well. [?] In contrast, colleges that become consumers of online courses created by wealthier universities will suffer, possibly even collapse.?
In the UK we can see the truth in the first half of that prediction (e.g. Heriot-Watt, Liverpool, Leicester). The UK does have a lead in the development and delivery of online courses ? and CAPDM have worked with a good number of these – but is there also a vulnerability to the newcomers, who generally act in consort with the ?wealthier? universities?
CAPDM would be only too pleased to lend its 25 years of experience to any institution looking to avoid being a simple consumer of online courses. We have made many an accurate prediction in our time, though perhaps not always within the timescale we expected. However we do predict a tipping point being reached within two to three years.
If you would like to discuss any of this, then please contact me at 0131 477 8632, or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
CAPDM Limited – Learning Engineers
Capture, author, publish, deliver and manage your learning materials.
This newsletter was originally sent by CAPDM Ltd. on the 28. June 2016.