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Future HE challenges revealed in new horizon-scanning report

20 Sep 2019 | Advance HE Advance HE has published a new report exploring the challenges in the future learning and teaching landscape of higher education (HE).

On the Horizon focuses on the perceptions of change and challenge for the global learning and teaching over the next five to ten years.

The report is an indicative, synchronic analysis which effectively “takes the pulse”, revealing the common hopes and concerns shared by those whose primary focus is on realising educational benefits for future generations of students.

Covering questions such as how student learning and the learning environment will change, whether degrees will be unbundled, addressing access, diversity and inclusion and if the academic workforce is equipped for the future, the report breaks down how providers will face teaching and learning in the HE sector over the next decade.

In depth discussions with senior leaders from several higher education institutions revealed some key actions that must be taken in order to secure the future landscape of HE including:


  • introducing new government policies and stable funding regimes to meet the challenges in skills investment for new economies and technologies, together with the social challenges of access, stalled social mobility and wellbeing


  • ensuring increasing quality in the student learning environment, and a broader agreement between students and providers on the understanding of value for money


  • more transnational and cross-institutional discussion about how students’ learning and teaching can be best served and improve their prospects


  • defining the role of universities in terms of the social and economic health they bring to the communities around them.


  • collaborating to make better and more co-ordinated provision for different kinds of students and their diverse needs.


  • supporting employers to understand the value of different awards and providers to capitalise on a wider talent pool and contributing to the enhancement of social mobility.

“This very thought-provoking report recognises that the challenges faced in higher education go way beyond our local situation, across sectors and continents.

“Keeping pace with the changes in technology will impact on the way students learn and how they are taught. This requires strategic leadership in innovation and change. The next generation of students is relying on us to embrace change and successfully navigate the challenges.”

Professor Sally Bradley, Senior Adviser at Advance HE.


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