Business schools facing a stormy future
Traditional business education models are being disrupted by technology, the introduction of MOOCs, market competition, university fees and increasingly demanding employer and employee needs, finds a wide-ranging new report called See the Future.
Conducted by CarringtonCrisp, the education market research and consultancy for business schools and universities, and supported by ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and the EFMD (European Foundation for Management Development), See the Future gathers views from Deans or Directors at business schools and also employers - CEOs and chairman - from 63 countries.
See the Future reveals that business education providers face four main challenges - costs, technology, staffing issues and market competition. They are being forced to reconsider the content of their degrees, with a growing shift towards a multidisciplinary approach to meet the demands of students and corporate business. Lifelong learning will remain important, but lifestyle learning will come to the fore because of technology developments. Key findings show that:
- 80% agree or strongly agree that ‘Some existing business schools will fail or need to merge to survive’. A view shared by just over 2/3rds of employers.
- 70 per cent of business school respondents agree or strongly agree that “technological innovation will bring new entrants to the business education market”
- Just over 90 per cent said “technology will promote the growth of new business models for business education.”
- 90 per cent agree that “business schools will develop flexible degrees that allow students to mix study and work
- 75 per cent agree that business schools will develop new products to help younger and older workers who no or only limited experience of higher education.
- Only 50 per cent of employers are aware of MOOCs, but 70 per cent agree that “more training and development in our organization will be delivered online in the next five years.”
The view from employers is that they want value for money, with quicker, cheaper and more substantial impact from training and development. They have a growing acceptance of online learning as it removes travel and accommodation costs. However, while online learning is popular, the majority, at 80 per cent, agree that “Executive education for senior managers and directors will remain face to face.”
Andrew Crisp, from CarringtonCrisp and author of the report said: “This situation is not a perfect storm, but the Dean who sticks their head in the sand and fails to think about how best to position their school for the future risks their school and its students being left behind.”
Alan Hatfield, director of learning at ACCA, commented: “Anytime, anywhere learning is on the rise, providing students with the flexibility to learn at their own pace and around their other commitments such as work and family. When they hire new talent, employers believe a professional qualification is essential or desired. As a professional body, ACCA is committed to business education - working with universities, MOOC providers and business schools around the world, we aim to ensure the future of business education remains relevant and valued.”
Eric Cornuel, DG and CEO at EFMD, concluded: “It has been clear for many years that the pace of change in business education is accelerating. Understanding the drivers of change and the demands of those seeking to learn in the future are key to our member schools delivering effective solutions. More and more, our members recognise the need for business to be studied in a wider context, to see the impact it has on society. To this end, there is a growing need for business schools to work with other faculties, departments and experts throughout universities and beyond to ensure students receive a rounded education.”
A copy of the report can be downloaded free of charge by clicking here.