The needs of the future workforce are changing very quickly. In the next three decades, this vast and inexorable pulling force will demand that universities provide access to education for a higher volume and a greater diversity of people. Universities will not only train the next generation workforce, they will be required to help retrain a many-perspective workforce for the digital age, and keep up with the latest technologies to ensure this education is engaging, effective, and cost-efficient.
This shift also brings potential for tertiary institutions to more meaningfully embed themselves into Australians’ everyday lives; informing and empowering citizens to fully participate in their democratic society. With so many more alumni, universities could become places for people to return regularly as their career and role in society morphs and matures. Alumni, through the filters of their experience in diverse sectors and jobs could be contributing, learning new skills and interacting as members of the university community well beyond their degree. This could become a powerful new tool to reach beyond academia and engage more meaningfully with industry, government, the arts, the caring economy, and other spheres of society.