Will we recognise the university of the future?

2016-06-17T10:32:42Z (GMT) by Andrew Rothwell Ian Herbert
Following yesterday’s article looking at the future role of shared services in higher education, Andrew Rothwell and Ian Herbert of Loughborough Universities’ Centre for Global Sourcing and Services highlight how digital relationships and offshoring will transform universities – and possibly secure their survival. Some north American and Australian correspondents have predicted the demise of many institutions due to institutional mergers and changing demand patterns, with widespread redundancy of academic and professional support staff as a result. Others predict the rise of the ‘high-brand’ global university, with superstar academics delivering masterclass-style lectures to tens of thousands of remote students, simultaneously – and with the potential for each to rewind and review. After all, who wouldn’t want to be taught retail management by the ‘Queen of Shops’, or innovation by James Dyson? A more measured view from a 2013 IPPR report asks – why should universities be immune to the kind of changes that have already transformed business and some other public organisations through the forces of technology and globalisation?