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- Higher education: future trends
Higher education: future trends
The landscape for HE changed profoundly after the Browne Review of 2010 [The Independent Review of Higher Education Funding and Student Finance, 2010]. The radical changes in the way the sector is funded will mean changes in services, and in provision, with the private sector playing more of a role. At the time of writing, the effects on postgraduate funding and provision are not yet known and will be the subject of a White Paper later in 2011. Changes in research funding will result in much more concentration of funding within university groups and consortia, and greater collaboration between institutions, whilst universities and departments with less established track records may struggle to attract public funding. The sector is currently experiencing a widespread fall in employment, and overall employment levels are expected to decrease in the short term.
The number of 18 year olds in the UK is going to fall significantly over the next ten years before returning to the level of 2009. This will be mirrored across Europe, and will have an effect on the potential supply of university entrants during this period. Whilst demand for higher education is not expected to diminish, the sector is expected to have to adapt to these new circumstances by modifying the offering to students. Remote learning and part-time study may become more common than at present, with new tools to offer learning, support and guidance being developed; these all offer career options for doctoral graduates outside the traditional academic roles.
Nevertheless, HE research will continue to play a central role in the development of innovation in the UK economy and will remain the most important destination for UK doctoral graduates.
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