Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
The coronavirus pandemic has caused significant changes in higher education. Higher education includes general, technical or professional education, which requires a level of training greater than or equal to the baccalaureate or its equivalent. During the moments of confinement, the research laboratories were closed, the courses were given remotely, and the students and staff, not being used to this mode of operation, were forced to adapt despite the increase in social inequalities, xenophobia and student mental health issues.
Almost two years after the confinements, higher education is becoming more than necessary to focus on other future eventualities, considering the world’s socio-economic needs: economy and community. Not only has the pandemic redirected higher education, but the challenges and issues related to public evolution and the strong presence of digital technology today require the university to set new objectives and different methods based on innovation using technological tools.
In addition, higher education today cannot be done using traditional methods because of the many challenges. Many more young people seek training. It is more than a necessity for higher education to be open to a more significant number of young people. In order to understand new education challenges, it is necessary to analyze the provision of distance learning, considering the number of students above the universities’ capacity and the students’ part-time work.
One of the significant challenges of higher education today is reducing the failure rate and the new expectations of the knowledge society and the knowledge economy. In addition, promoting equal opportunities and allowing the mastery of new technologies are fundamental challenges for education in 2022.
The new reforms of higher education in 2022
Today, in many countries, including France, we finance students’ studies in such a way that we increase equality of opportunity, which is one of the most significant challenges of higher education. We also increase training and courses and grant many more scholarships for studies, making it possible to reduce the number of failures in the first years of the bachelor’s degree. We are also increasing funding for research, which is very important for technical progress and necessary for development. Through research and innovation, companies find it much easier to create and have the opportunity to have qualified and competent researchers.
Higher education must be adapted to the new challenges; it is impossible to develop as in the past. Research, which represents one of the universities’ highest priorities, is subject to great innovation. Indeed, the use of new technologies comes from the latest reforms and innovations in higher education. Students and entrepreneurs have many more opportunities.
Higher education in the face of new technologies is an opportunity for entrepreneurs
Nowadays, the university is not only in its physical space but also in the digital world with new technologies, but the university also creates an identity in the digital world with a methodological framework.
From digital, students follow courses remotely, and it is an excellent opportunity for them to work part-time, which is for companies to have a cheap workforce. Moreover, new technologies offer significant advantages to students; not only do they acquire knowledge and diplomas from digital, they also develop skills to adapt to today’s work environment — a so-called virtual office workplace.
New information and communication technologies are an added value for students, both for the knowledge acquired and easier access to work. With internet access, the student can work without having to be on university premises. From the admission to study remotely, they have the possibility of consulting the updated documents of the processors, can check their work and meet the deadlines for submission. With digital, knowledge has no borders, the university is expanding, and young people have many opportunities to train outside institutions.
The employability of students in 2022
A higher education diploma is, first of all, a way of being selected for hire, facilitating better-paid jobs. Some states have policies promoting graduate students’ integration into the labor market. In France, President Macron speaks of a systemic change in the university.
In his opinion, universities must guarantee the reception of students in training and guide young people towards employment. States can, however, finance small and medium-sized enterprises, so that they employ a higher number of young graduates.
Nowadays, students are more qualified for the labor market after their studies, thanks to the end-of-study internship, which allows them to acquire work experience, mastery of new technologies and create networks for job search. These are also outstanding achievements for employability.
Higher education graduates should be favorable to employment developments in 2022, especially beginners in computer science, engineering and agricultural technology. Despite the pandemic, the employability of young graduates has increased during the economic recovery period.
Finally, we can conclude that with all these problems currently opposing each other, higher education lacks strategy. And when higher education lacks strategy, this negatively affects research. So in that sense, those in charge of higher education should ensure that everything changes as recommended by the experts.