Student fees in H.E will probably increase to £7,000 per annum and much higher in the elite schools / Universities. My heart aches for these students however the economy is such a poor state that if drastic measures are not taken the country will suffer even more and absolute poverty is possible such as in the developing world.
From a demand perspective students will expect 'market friendly' courses and a fighting chance for a job. Consequently business engagement from Universities with companies will become the norm not the exception, if not I expect a rationalisation in the HE sector and potential mergers. Work based learning will become more common and students will take longer to graduate as in North America. This is potentially a good thing as students will become more business savvy and motivated. Students will become bona fide consumers and demand higher standards.
On the other side of the fence, the supply side, the Universities will have to become extremely flexible in course provision and there will undoubtedly be more transferable credits between institutions. Again the North American experience is a point of reference.
Fears of a two tier H.E system and the lack of accessibility for students from a disadvantaged background are partially correct. However I am sure the mandarins in Whitehall will be hatching a plan as UK PLC has to compete and economically beat the BRIC and other emerging nations. As for a league of Universities this is already present but newer Universities are competing via niche and innovative programmes and are much more Business Engaged then their Red Brick rivals.
I am convinced our H.E system will emerge fitter and stronger…
WHO DARES WINS…