How the Digital Age will Impact Higher Education
by Roberta Nicora

We live in turbulent times; Brexit, new world leaders and the HE Bill. It's very hard to predict what the future will hold, especially for higher education. For many teenagers, going to university is a right of passage, a way of stepping out of their comfort zone and starting their journey to adulthood.  

With the recent news of maintenance grants being taken away and the constant increases in the cost of living, it makes higher education an increasingly difficult step to take. This means students will have to find new ways in which to save money, if they want to carry on or even start studying for a degree.

The Digital Age will impact higher education, but not just students. It offers a number of ways in which society can save money and enrich their lives. Firstly it allows access to an abundance of information, which has lead to the phrase “just google it” being the answer to a variety of problems. The modern economy has grown because of it, as companies use information and data to inform their services, product development and to efficiently run their organisations. The convenient communication it provides, allowing for increased collaboration, helping advances in medicine and more digital technology.

From the viewpoint of the institution, technology allows them to make education more accessible to its students. Universities can have online courses,  helping to increase their student population. eTextbooks, journals and papers become freely available to students through the use of digital learning platforms, making paper books a thing of the past. These etextbooks allow for a much greater distribution of information, as copies can be made available to each student. It can help educators monitor the progress of their students, preventing dropouts because educators can react according to how well students are progressing.

This new age is a blessing to students too. Students can make more informed choices when choosing a university, ultimately leading to a better university experience. New digital learning platforms will provide recorded lectures and etextbooks, making studying easier and more convenient. Students will be able to access their learning materials wherever they go, making studying more flexible. These digital learning platforms make collaboration more feasible, meaning group assignments will be easier to manage.

As we go into this new era, things are changing, drastically. Businesses will need to adapt to this new age and the same goes for higher education. Higher education has done this through the use of etextbooks and timetables, but have to continue to adapt if they want to survive.





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