President’s Newsletter 1st May 2017

One of my professional interests is in futurology.

One of my professional interests is in futurology. Indeed I am silly enough to be currently writing a fictional depiction of life in the 2040’s. Given this interest I keenly track the latest futurist thinking and research work with a particular focus on technology and education.

The management consulting firm Ernst and Young (EY) have just released a paper entitled, ‘University of the Future’  The focus is on Australia but I believe the implications are global and also relevant for the Vocational Education and Training sector.

EY identifies five critical trends:

  • Democratisation of knowledge and access  (the on-line search engine revolution)
  • Contestability of markets and funding- not new to VET but a recent phenomenon for public universities
  • Digital technologies- bringing into question the need for massive campuses
  • Global mobility- the international competition for students is on the increase
  • Integration with industry- need to produce work-ready graduates

EY then outlines 3 university business models:

  1. Streamlined Status Quo- less disciplines, more partnerships and outsourcing
  2. Niche Dominators- targeting specific customers with deep industry alliances
  3. Transformers- mostly private providers and new entrants to extend the definition of customers and combine services with related industries. Outsource student services and customer relations in the cloud.

As far as The William Light Institute is concerned we are very comfortable and confident in the directions we have been taking- we have developed as a niche high end developer and provider in health sciences and IT with our programs all focussed on producing work-ready graduates. Our courses cross boundaries between VET and university education, not as some deliberate strategy but simply as the result of industry’s aspirations for its workers. We work with industry and with partners in development and delivery. We are nimble, innovative and take managed risks to make those innovations into a useable reality. Indeed our next ‘big thing’ a new nursing program, ticks all those boxes and more.

Next week is the 231st birthday of our name sake William Light. New research has uncovered more fascinating aspects to his incredible life and achievements. A newsletter dedicated to this research will be published next week.

Best regards

Greg Black