The digital revolution poses a double challenge to higher education: in the methods and practices of learning and of teaching, and in the very substance of what is taught in view of the disruption that emerging technologies are bringing to the labor market. Countless questions arise today in the minds of university administrators and faculty, and in societal debates at large: What should a college education contribute to students at a time when most observers of evolving labor trends and education experts agree to predict that the future of work will make the very idea of a life-long career obsolete and replace it with life-long learning? How will college education remain relevant? How will colleges and universities survive in an increasingly competitive, increasingly global environment?
These are some of the questions that Dr. Corinne Mellul’s report seeks to investigate, through a focus on both the context and the loci in which this revolution is playing out. Part One explores the global framework that has made these questions relevant by examining the commoditization of higher education. Part Two provides an overview of the penetration of digital technology and AI on and off campuses to date and seeks to assess developing trends in the transformation of higher education. Part Three focuses on the labor market to gauge the impact of emerging technologies on labor markets to date, review developing trends and attempt to determine what skills will be in demand tomorrow.
In providing an overview of and some reflections on the disruptions to come in higher education, the author of this report means to explore the subject through a social science lens, with a view to informing and encouraging fruitful debate among the managing teams of universities that are members of the International Federation of Catholic Universities, and, hopefully, also among those that are not.
International Federation of Catholic Universities - Higher Education Foresight Unit