Globalization has brought new ways of working, living, and therefore also studying.
In 2017, according to the data of UNESCO (2019), there were over 5.3 million international students studying around the world, up from 2 million in 2000. As higher education institutions, we adapt academic systems to address the talent needs from the industry as well as the needs from cohorts of more nomadic students.
Last year, under the vision of Eric Wyttynck, our Chief Information, Innovation and Digital Officer, we launched an internal competition where all talents of our company contributed in gathering new perspectives and ideas to try to predict the student learning experience in 2050. The challenge, open to all faculty and staff members at Les Roches, Glion, and Sommet Education, highlighted 3 main trends which shape the Education of tomorrow: personalization, digitalization and lifelong learning.
Many industry sectors have been focusing on enhancing their client experience for the past ten years. This is the result of fast-paced, competitive and globalized market in which brand engagement and experience are key elements of differentiation. Our students are the children of a global society. The same way they have expectations from ordinary products and services, they have high expectations towards higher institutions who will provide them with key skills for to venture into professional life.
To answer to these new inquiries, many Higher Institutions are taking a student-centric approach shaping and enhancing student experience as brands would do for their customers by creating positions such as Director of student experiences.
Students expect a high level of service during all aspects of student life, from recruitment and admission through post-graduation engagement. Whether it is their educational or campus life experiences, students want the experiences to reflect in other aspects of their lives. Within this experiential approach, individualization and personalization are key needs and requests.
According to a study by Gartner (2019), more than 50% of higher education institutions will begin redesigning their student experience with the goal of making it more integrated and personalized by 2021.
In that respect, we have pioneered new ways of approaching student experiences long time ago. Students who enroll at our institutions have the possibility to create their own pathway. They have the possibility to design a journey through our 3 schools and 9 campuses in Switzerland, France, Spain, China or UK. Choosing various specialization from finance to luxury or resort management for example.
Technology is obviously playing a key role in helping us support the individualization of our student journey, from data, CRM to emerging technologies, to online chats with professors, or alumni community gathering.
Technology can support the development of a “reloaded” student experience through integrated, targeted and more personal student interactions with institutions leveraging on the use of data and technologies such as AI. From personalized learning to interactive education or the enhancement of educational systems, technology is integrated in the process.
One of the roles of technology is to facilitate the delivery of knowledge which can be discussed, reinforced and validated in an offline collaborative environment afterwards. Indeed, there is a time and a place where cultivating excellence can only be done through practical skills. Notably in the Culinary Arts, excellence only comes with the experience of a gesture, following the direct example of a teacher who is a master of his craft.
At Sommet Education, we trust learning from the best through a mentoring and networking approach is the pathway to success, but we strongly believe that there is no going back to the analogue-only past either. Our way to include technology in our tailor-made approach to student, by embracing the best of both, the ‘real’ and ‘virtual’ worlds.
To keep-up with the highly competitive and globalized talent market. Lifelong learning has become the way to stay “bankable“. With computerization reshaping a large number of jobs and more people switching their careers, it is crucial for them to continuously upgrade their skills or acquire new skills in order to remain attractive to employers.
Deloitte defines the talent economy, a relatively new term, as “a human movement, where people can connect, share information, and spread community. It is a collaborative, technology-driven, rapid-cycle way of doing business”.
In a research by PwC, 79% of CEOs worldwide are concerned that the talent gap might hinder the future growth of their organization. Indeed, there is strong global agreement from the sample surveyed by ICEF (2019) regarding the upcoming need for continual upskilling as people get older. Based on their study, the majority of participants stated they will do it via short training programs or other courses from professional associations.
At Sommet Education, we provide a wide portfolio of programs through our 3 brands to meet the needs of all kind of learners such as initial students, career switchers, or career growers. We cover all types of studies from the vocational and practical studies to managerial approaches in the hospitality industry. With the transformation happening in the education industry, we believe Higher Education institutions should be agile and collaborate with the various stakeholders in the industry to embrace the pace of change and co-create the future of education.
Lifelong learning is necessary for individuals to remain employable and self-sustainable. Personalization of student learning, pioneering new learning methods and providing keys to constant knowledge improvement has been in the DNA of our schools from the beginning, and will be our priorities for the time ahead of us.
The education industry is evolving. Learn about the impact of the above trends on education in greater depth in the full report, available here.