The learning and education sector is changing dramatically which means its future and development is up for grabs. Chris Blues (Associate October’14) shares some of his insights working at FutureLearn, a tech start-up aiming to shape the future of learning by providing free online courses.
It’s an exciting time to be at FutureLearn, but what are these changes we are seeing in education and what opportunities or challenges might they provide for a business like FututeLearn?
Firstly, what’s changed?
Tuition fees are rising faster than prices in any other sector – in the US tuition fees have risen by 570% between 1982 and 2011. Public funding is going down and costs of education are going up. Combine this with a structural pressure on public spending from increasing health and pension costs might cause the future of education for the disadvantaged to look pretty bleak. The UK Department of Education estimates a £600m budget shortfall in 2015-16 rising to a £4.6bn shortfall by 2018-19.
Automation – up to 45% of jobs could be lost to automation and universities are struggling to prepare students. Skills required might shift toward those requiring critical thinking and the ability to interact with machines e.g. coding. If you’r3 worried then become a Recreational Therapist with just a 0.028% risk of job automation.
Brain competition is increasing – people want better quality education and more of it. The desire for learning, driven in part by emerging markets, has contributed to an increased demand for education. Read more →