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A recent PWC report, ‘Delivering the campus of the future’, outlines the modern teaching and learning delivery use case for Higher Education Institutions. Authors Graham and Gibson highlight how the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated a dramatic shift to digital learning delivery. University campuses around the world have adapted and changed at an uncomfortable rate in response to the pandemic. As a result, many institutions are now beginning their ‘digital transformation’.

The change has resulted in a modern culture of the digital approach to learning. Many HEIs are unprepared for the permanent implications of this shift. The traditional ‘campus’ and face-to-face modes of teaching delivery are out, the modern, hybrid and blended mode is in.

Traditional capital investment in HE

The report indicates that HEIs currently allocate 90% of capital investment on physical infrastructure. This expenditure has gone on improving and expanding on-campus facilities. Until the pandemic, only 10% of the capital investment of HEIs went to digital assets. This position is already changing significantly. PWC predicts investment to consist of a more 50/50 split in the future.

Instead, modern investments in physical infrastructure will be repurposing and adapting existing infrastructure – making the most of the space you have. The focus should now be on integrating with the digital, developing ‘the campus of the future’ and investing in digital transformation. The campus of the future will need to focus on the digital tools and technologies that can improve the student journey.

The Campus of the Future – Digital Transformation

Post-pandemic there is a move for everything to be available or provided for online. From recruitment, enrolment and induction, to teaching and learning, student support and graduation.

smart campus

The next generation of students and faculty expect the convenience and flexibility of the hybrid, digital education experience. Activities traditionally associated with the on-campus experience, are now sought online. To drive crucial positive outcomes in student enrolment, retention, and success, HEIs must invest in modern technology.

Smart Campus

A 2021 survey conducted by BCG and Google found strong agreement on this among institutional and technology leaders. They agreed that moving on-premise IT systems to the cloud, centralizing and integrating data and increasing the use of advanced analytics are key priorities in driving large scale institution innovation. This prompts their conclusion that “Higher Ed Must Go All In on Digital”. Every year Gartner identifies the top strategic technologies impacting Higher Education. The ‘Smart Campus’ and ‘Predictive Analytic’ tools are frequently among these. The technologies that support a smart campus use a hybrid model of attendance, integrated learning experiences, data driven insights and learning analytics, automated processes and workflows, and streamlined student services.

The fate of education is clear. For HEIs to increase operational efficiency and remain viable, they need to commit to the ‘smart campus of the future’. This means investing in the digital learning experience, digital transformation and modern tech that supports it.

For more on how to make your campus a ‘Smart Campus’ see our solution page.