Education-as-Usual. Likely but not preferred.

Of the 5 Scenarios for Education in 2030, Education-as-Usual is least preferred but most likely according to 5000+ educators, entrepreneurs, leaders and investors from 30+ countries who have contributed to the Education in 2030 Project.

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What might education look like in 2030?

To answer this question, the Education in 2030 Project set out to synthesize different perspectives of many stakeholders and build out scenarios of the possible futures for education and learning. To do so, we used the power of the global crowd, augmented by advanced technology, to find out what the world is thinking about the future of education, and overlaid data and analysis from expert sources.

Based on this analysis, five possible scenarios were developed as a basis for discussion and further validation. It is important to note that these scenarios are not predictions. Indeed, it is most likely that a combination of scenarios will play out simultaneously in different geographies, age cohorts and education sectors.

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The 5 Scenarios

Education-as-Usual. Traditional education institutions remain the trusted source of learning and the most effective vehicle for jobs and prosperity. HE consolidates, global talent platforms emerge and government remains the core funding source.
Regional Rising. Regional alliances dominate the competitive education landscape, supported by strategic and political cooperation. Cooperative blended delivery and regional talent hubs cross-load labor supply and demand to strengthen regions.
Global Giants. A global free market environment has fostered the emergence of ‘mega-organizations’ with ubiquitous brand recognition and the scale to achieve significant efficiencies and industry power.
Peer-to-Peer. Learning online through rich, personalized human to human experiences dominates the post-secondary and skills training sectors. Blockchain technology fundamentally reconfigures credentialing.
Robo Revolution. AI drives a complete reversal in ‘who leads learning’, with virtual tutors and mentors structuring learning paths, providing assessment tasks and giving feedback.

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Status Quo Akimbo

In the Education-as-Usual scenario, traditional education institutions remain the trusted source of learning and the most effective vehicle for jobs and prosperity. However, chronic skills shortages in advanced economies due to demographic change, automation and changing industry needs, which require the re-skilling of a vast number of displaced workers, has placed enormous pressure on traditional institutions, most of which are neither structured nor able to service these needs to the scale, at the speed, and in the way that learners expect.

As a consequence, structural reform in the post secondary sector occurs, including amalgamations and closures of smaller, niche universities, which are unable to keep up with changing learner needs and do not have the infrastructure or breadth to deliver on new skill and disciplinary demands.

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Change Wanted.

In the past year, over 5000 education leaders, teachers, entrepreneurs, investors and service providers from around the world have voted on their preferred scenario for 2030, as well as identifying which scenario was most likely.

Results show a clear pattern for scenario preference, with many identifying ‘Peer to Peer’ as their preferred outcome for Education in 2030, followed by ‘Robo-Revolution’. A smaller number prefer Global Giants and Regional Rising and a very small proportion of audiences identified ‘Education-as-Usual’ for their preferred future state.

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Preference ≠ Likelihood.

Despite the low preference for Education-as-Usual, a much higher proportion of respondents indicated that this scenario was the most likely. Likelihood for Education-as-Usual was relatively stable across different roles.

Teachers have the highest preference for Education-as-Usual, although it’s still only 14% of the total respondent population. In short, most respondents across most parts of the sector are looking for change on the current trajectory for both industry structure and approaches to learning.

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Country Perspectives.

Finland, home to a progressive education system and recognised for its innovation, was the country with the highest preference for Education-as-Usual, followed by Brazil, Singapore and Russia. However these are still small percentages at under 15% preferred.

India, Spain and South Africa identified the most readiness for a changed future, with Canada, Malaysia and Israel optimistic about different scenarios for the future of education.

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Download the Full Report

Education in 2030 is a free 60 page report that deep dives through the four drivers of the global expansion in education and identifies 5 Scenarios for the Future of Learning and Talent. Methodology for developing the scenarios is explained and over 100 charts and tables are provided with sources and references for further research.

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