Journey to a Million – How UCAS’ plans affect higher education

Last week, the third and final of UCAS’ three-part essay collection was published, with the focus on their Journey to a Milliondebate being closely analysed by the likes of Wonkhe. It will have a profound effect on the infrastructure of higher education, with particular emphasis on the balance between in-person and virtual learning. 

What is ‘Journey to a Million’? 

UCAS projects that by the end of the decade in 2030, UK higher education will receive as many as one million annual applications. This is an increase of almost a third from May 2023. 

This national debate from UCAS, while incredibly exciting in principle, also brings about self-acknowledged challenges for universities and other higher education institutions. 

How UCAS’ projections affect higher education 

UCAS themselves define these challenges as: widening participation, supplyand demand, competition, making choices and scaling student experience. 

In essence, how can higher education institutions such as universities cope with a significant increase in applications? 

How they look to manage the wealth of competition for places and supplying that increased demand from potentially expanded course numbers will be critical. With the current state of play, libraries may find it extremely difficult to provide sufficient resources to an increased influx of students projected by UCAS. 

Higher education institutions accelerating their digital transformations from lessons learned during the pandemic are imperative. As referenced in the report, online tools can play their part as an equaliser balanced with the constants of brilliant teachers and careers advisors. 

Doing so will ensure that the student experience is not compromised if UCAS’ Journey to a Million projection becomes a reality come 2030. 

The solution – Kortext Arcturus 

Our Kortext Arcturus platform is the ideal solution for combatting many of the potential obstacles brought upon by the predictions of UCAS’ Journey to a Million concept. It is the perfect digital equaliser. 

As mentioned, a potential increase in students of up to 30% at each university will bring about pressures to have sufficient learning resources, which in itself incurs financial difficulties for libraries that could already be working on stringent budgets. 

Kortext Arcturus reduces the need for hard copy textbooks in physical libraries. As aggregators of content, we have curated a substantial library of books that can be provisioned to students undertaking a specific course or module.  

This not only mitigates the issue of space incurred by needing to house more resources, but also removes the waiting list conundrum that can frustrate student and librarian alike. 

UCAS’ suggestion that there could be up to 30% more students also brings about the logistical issue of space for those successful applicants. Quite simply, many higher education institutions will not be able to house up to a third more students on campus or in their city. 

The solution is to deliver studies equal in quality as blended or fully online learning. 

Kortext Arcturus is not limited by the boundaries of hard copy literature. Students can access the materials they need anywhere in the world, allowing successful international applicants to work remotely without compromising on the quality of the student experience. 

This immediately resolves one of the core challenges brought upon by an increased number of student applications through UCAS by 2030. 

More than eBooks & digital textbooks 

Another projection within the report is about the quality of learning that students are expecting in today’s climate. A UCAS survey back in 2022 ranked the development of key skills as being the number one priority for those entering higher education. 

With the Kortext platform, students can enhance their collaboration skills through the Groups feature. As an EPUB-preferred platform, there is also the opportunity for self-learning and problem-solving as the student can test their knowledge on what they have learnt thus far. 

It is much, much more than a simple eBook viewing system. It is the #1 learning experience and engagement platform. 

In conclusion 

UCAS’ Journey to a Million debate is both fascinating and daunting for those working directly in the institutions. The key take away from it all is the necessity for proactiveness. 

Be more than prepared for UCAS’ projections by accelerating your digital transformation with Kortext. Request a demo today for any of our innovative platforms, including our flagship Kortext Arcturus system. 

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