Subscribe / Unsubscribe Enewsletters | Login | Register

Pencil Banner

What will higher education look like in 2020?

Gary Newbold Vice President, Asia-Pacific and Japan of Extreme Networks | Feb. 5, 2015
Universities who partner with network vendors who can help lead their digital transformation will have a strong advantage.

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

The BYOD trend is gaining popularity in Asia Pacific and the region will continue to witness strong growth, driven by burgeoning consumer demand for smartphone and tablet. In 2013, mobile devices utilized under the BYOD model accounted for 22.5 percent of all consumer smartphone sales, followed by notebook PCs (11.7 percent) and tablets (4.9 percent).

This trend is also evident in educational institutions. Today's college students are mobile. Whether they are in the classroom, exercising at the gym, studying in the library, or even sleeping in their dorms, they want to be constantly connected. Critically, pervasive and reliable Wi-Fi will be the prerequisite for providing a quality computing experience and a criterion for students when selecting their schools.

Simultaneously, pressure on colleges and universities to provide the best achievable campus computing experience to both students and staff is continuing to grow. This is driven by not only the students , who expect to be constantly connected, but also the need to reduce costs through new technology.

Here are some of the new styles of learning and how these tools are expected to tremendously change the face of universities and colleges by 2020.

The campus network at the core of the computing experience
The trend of students and faculty bringing more of their own devices onto campus will continue to increase dramatically, bringing with it new challenges for educational institutions. Indeed, with network traffic rising exponentially in schools, the ability to access the network, exchange both structured and unstructured data seamlessly and quickly from anywhere on campus, will be essential. In fact, it's a basic requirement for students: the campus computing environment has already become an important consideration for students when evaluating colleges. Studentshave come to prefer blended learning environments with high digital content, which require a strong network backbone.

The campus network of the future must be capable of supporting much more than just students and faculty devices. The growing concept of the Internet of Things (IoT) means vast numbers of machines and sensors will be populating campus networks. IDC predicts that there will be 212 billion things on the Internet by the end of 2020. These devices include building monitors, medical sensors, door locks, cameras, displays, lights, HVAC equipment, and all the appliances throughout campus living groups. This proliferation of network devices requires denser, more reliable, and easier ways to manage Wi-Fi connections.

In addition to mobile, the megatrends of social, cloud, big data, and apps will have a large impact on colleges and universities. Just like all businesses, higher education is undergoing a digital transformation. Traditional methods of communication, marketing, and management are being replaced by digital, online, and highly-integrated versions. The campus network must be able to handle the growing volume of digital content, as well as monitor the flow of university data with network analytics. The Educause Center for Analysis and Research (ECAR) study, for instance, shows that 74 percent of college students already use e-books in their classes and half say e-books are important for their academic success. Same trend is also prevalent in Asia Pacific: Singapore's Republic Polytechnic, for instance, makes extensive use of technology. The recently-opened institution decided to move away from book, paper, and pen to create a unique learning environment, with the aim of producing industry-ready professionals.


1  2  Next Page 

Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.