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Academic to Applied Education

Problems with Conventional Higher Education

Digital revolution has changed the way we work, live, and play. The future of work has been impacted with current jobs redefined.

There are three significant issues with our conventional higher education systems in keeping up with the rapid change:

  • Firstly, academic education front loading at higher learning institutions is no longer practical; with the frequent reskilling needed to stay agile for rapid job changes. It is high-risk and poor return on investment when the jobs’ learners study for no longer exist by the time they graduate.
  • Secondly, classroom-oriented learning is ineffective and inefficient. Classroom training limits workplace exposure for acquiring work-ready skills. Classroom training is time-invasive as it takes individuals away from work and home.
  • Finally, the fragmented education sector, with respective silos for academic & vocational pathways, does not provide sufficient flexibility and interoperability for developing thinkers and makers with knowledge and skills required by the digital economy.

Lifelong Applied Learning

The new academia would have to change from developing graduates who are job seekers to one who are job creators with an innovation mindset. It would have to change from focusing on academic education as the pathway of choice to emphasis on an applied learning pathway.

There would need to be cross-fertilisation between academic education, vocational training, and lifelong learning to support the “Holistic” learning needs of an individual on a lifelong basis.

What is needed will be a lifelong applied learning pathway able to bridge the untapped connections between learning and the workplace for delivering practical skills with transferable knowledge.

Future-ready learning institutions should become trusted lifelong partners for talents and enterprises. For individuals, it facilitates their career development with lifelong learning and skills mastery. For enterprises, it delivers talents and skills incubation for digital transformation.