Education

Tackling the Educational Transformation with Higher Education Leadership

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Industry 4.0 is bringing a lot of technological and social changes that demands lifelong learning. The new business models are disrupting traditional educational institutions and operating models. With more automation, digitization, and fluid job markets, the future of higher education must focus on skills.

Continued learning is essential to update skills and stay relevant. Moreover, the evolving demands of consumers are driving change in the education sector. The demographic changes, increasing cost, declining state appropriations, competition, shifting consumer demands, etc., may lead to a new business model, Grand Thornton reports. The 20th-century workforce is being reconstructed. Thus, higher education needs restructuring.


At this stage, higher education management acknowledges that the educational systems and future pathways will get served with alternative and innovative models. The educational skills revolve around these (fig. 1) as per the World Economic Forum.

The universities would enlarge sizable footprints through on-line platforms and marketing. The University of Massachusetts has announced that it is planning for a national online college. Many smaller and like-missioned universities are merging into larger institutions to serve students nationwide.

The concern over the skills gap has led to several undergraduate and master’s degree programs that claim to consult with industries to produce the trained workers they need. In short, the industries would dictate the college and graduate curricula.

In the wake of these challenges, plans, and so forth, the leadership and management programs are also evolving. The universities gain ground to make scholarships and research more inclusive for an appropriate work-life balance in academia. The main intention is to keep academia and work connected. This is an important stage for curricular transformation in higher education which would close the gap between the jobs and classrooms.

The future of higher education would determine the future of work. It involves a shift in the way students consume education. Students may receive credits in different ways that may include dual-degree programs, early college, online providers, multiple universities, community colleges, and so forth. As a result, the colleges are expected to become nimble, entrepreneurial, student-focused and accountable for students’ learnings.

Educational transformation is the need of the hour today. The range of leadership skills with which the university heads like Dean, President, principals, etc., are becoming vast. It includes academics, finance, marketing, athletics, fundraising, research, education transformation, etc. The global leaders in higher education management demand strategic thinking, diplomacy, smart compromises, and risk management.

To develop leadership skills in this changing education scenario, there is a program – Global program in Higher Education offered by The Wharton School in association with the Education Management Research Centre. The program helps you to take your educational institute to the next level. Investment in leadership is important for the day. As per Deloitte’s research, nearly two-thirds of presidents surveyed had coaches or mentors who help them to get ready for the role. One-third of them still receive coaching to succeed in the job.

Rightly, college presidents are compared to corporate CEOs today. There is a shift in responsibilities. Higher education is a collegial and intellectual community where they are the academic leaders. The most important skills needed by a president when they take the office involves strategic thinking, communicating, storytelling as the primary skills. The otherskills include collaboration, financial and operational acumen, academic and intellectual leader.

John DeGioia, president, Georgetown University spent his first years in office. However, in recent years, he extends the international reach of the institution and global brand supervising a US$1.67 bn capital campaign.

As a concluding note, leadership development is getting stigmatized in higher education. The institutions are looking for transformational leaders who can take their campus to the next level or fix the long-standing problems.

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