If the last year has taught us all anything, it’s that change is here and it’s here to stay. We’re familiar with the examples of how post-secondary institutions around the world have coped with the COVID crisis. Many of us have lived it; it’s no longer front-page news. The more prevalent topic is this: how will universities continue to meet the needs of their students in a post-COVID world? And alongside that, as institutions reshape themselves, how can higher ed tech assist them?

Pragmatic Changemakers

Gen Z comprises the vast majority of the worldwide student population. It’s not a surprising statistic that 92% of post-secondary students are under the age of 24. (Refresher- Generation Z was born between 1995 and 2010) They’re the majority and even more importantly, they’re a vocal majority.

This group of digital natives challenges traditional norms and while they’re driving the tide of change, they’re also informed consumers who know how to do their research. Sure, college ranking lists are important, but to this cohort of pragmatists, value isn’t just derived from general statistics, but by what it means for the individual. Yes, that top 10 ranked school is good, but is it good for me?

Status alone isn’t enough anymore to convey value; it’s far more subjective now. Moreover, for the generation that grew up making PowerPoint presentations rather than poster board projects, technology is essential to that sense of value.

“We have just seven short years before the last of Gen Z… begin enrolling in higher education institutions”

Adapt or…?

Article after article, written by concerned Millennials and Gen Xers, repeatedly ponder how to keep up with educational shifts on top of the ongoing pandemic.

While Dutch institutions grapple with an overabundance of international students, U.S. community college enrollment continues to plummet, down 15% since 2019.  As social justice and sustainability assume their rightful places in institutional decision making worldwide, these changes are disrupting outdated aspects of traditional university business processes.

The topic of Student-Centric Learning has been discussed to a great degree, and in many cases is seen as the cure-all to modern educational dilemmas, but what about the Student-Centric Campus?  While adaptation happens at the syllabus level, surely the systems need to adapt with it. Post-secondary institutions around the world have a variety of technology at their fingertips. In order to meet the needs and requirements of modern students, it’s time for us all to revamp how we’re using it.

The Student-Centric Campus

In a bi-weekly series entitled “The Student-Centric Campus,” we will explore higher ed tech’s role in the topics and issues faced by post-secondary and higher educational institutions around the world. Focusing on new and creative solutions using PeopleSoft Campus Solutions functionality, we’ll discuss the following topics and more:

  • Professor management for a flexible faculty
  • Where to begin with Continuing Education?
  • Animal House – Managing the influx of pets on campus
  • How can we Connect? Communication in a modern world
  • Actionable steps to streamline curricula and beat the financial clock

Coming soon: Gen Alpha

Young people are more involved than ever in the processes which shape their lives and they want solutions – now.  It is indeed time that we deliver them those solutions. We have just seven short years before the last of Gen Z and the first of the next generation, Generation Alpha, begin enrolling in higher education institutions, bringing with them their own wave of change.

What problems are you, the post-secondary professional, facing as institutions adapt to this generation of students? Is there a topic you’d like us to cover? Reach out to us via LinkedIn. You can also email Eve Sapp at eve@cy2.nl.

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