Universities, as a global collective, have been working on defining and implementing digital transformation plans with different degrees of progress depending on each case, country and also the nature of the university itself. Some were born with a digital vocation, maybe even without physical campuses, and are digital natives. At the other extreme are the more traditional universities based on the on-site campus model.
Within the European Union there are different programs and initiatives for the digital transformation of education and empowerment of citizens with new generations of technology. The trend is to evolve towards a more skills-based model that qualifies citizens based more on the real needs of society than on the possession of a specific degree. According to this approach, in the future the focus will be more on the citizen than on the university student, and universities will come to play a relevant role throughout the citizen’s life rather than only during the academic stage.
These new (or not so new) concepts will gradually become part of our lives:
- Skills & competencies
Training will be oriented towards obtaining specific skills and abilities necessary to meet the needs of a specific job.
- LLL – Lifelong Learning
Training will extend throughout the individual’s life rather than only during traditionally academic stages.
- PLP – Personal Learning Pathways
Personalized learning paths will be defined according to the interests and specific needs of each individual and his or her work requirements.
- Micro Credentials
Short training courses will focus on a specific ability. The sum of all these modules will be the new academic curriculum.
- Stacking credentials
All of these earned credentials will “stack up” throughout the individual’s learning life.
The ESCO system – European Skills. Competences, Qualifications and Occupations- will regulate and classify the professional occupations and skills required within the framework of the European Union labor market. In this context, a new Europass, EDC – Europass Digital Credentials – will appear.
The certification of possessing a certain skill or ability will be given by the educational centers but also by the training departments of the companies prepared for it. Each citizen will have a ‘wallet’ where he/she will store and accumulate these certifications.
Therefore, universities are and will be immersed in a paradigm shift that will lead them to adopt, among others:
- Personalization and differentiation strategies in approaching and attracting potential students in order to keep up enrollments.
- Personalization and differentiation strategies in course catalogs to attract the best talent.
They must also be prepared to issue digital credentials and to adopt the LLL model of lifelong learning.
With this context already identified, and also immersed in the Covid era, universities have had to redefine strategies and prioritize objectives, which have been grouped into 4 major blocks:
- Maintain Students
The new situation has forced universities to accelerate digitalization plans in order to continue providing their services through online or blended online/classroom learning.
- Find New Markets
Universities are immersed in a competition to attract the best talent and gain access to markets that previously, with a traditional model, they could not reach.
- Transform the business model
The crisis generated by the Covid era is having a strong impact on society and it is necessary to redefine the business model in order to survive.
- Adapt for the future
The future of the labor market will require facilitating studies from anywhere, at any time, and in a continuous training environment.In order to work on the above four objectives, universities must strengthen very specific areas such as:
- Improve student recruitment and admission solutions, achieving equitable access to all interested potential students.
- Deepen and greatly improve the student experience. Universities that offer a better experience will attract more and better talent.
- Strengthen collaboration at the Alumni stage to maintain contact with students and their companies, access scholarship programs, obtain funding, etc.
- Become a successful institution that attracts the best talent as a pillar for the growth and competitiveness of the school in an increasingly competitive ecosystem.
- Reinventing themselves to offer all their educational services to any student throughout his or her life, not only during the academic stage, and regardless of where he or she is at any given moment.
This entire digital transformation strategy needs to be supported by the best technology and this is where Salesforce, leading Customer Success platform, comes in, with a specific vertical dedicated to Education.
EDA – Education Data Architecture – is Salesforce’s offer for the education community. It’s a solution designed to cover and manage the entire student lifecycle and all the iterations that occur throughout that cycle, as we can see represented in the following graphic:
On the EDA architecture we can support the entire digital strategy of our educational center and work towards a Connected Campus to offer an unbeatable technological experience to our students.
The Connected Campus model covers the entire student lifecycle, from Prospects to Companies, and its three major stages, Recruiting & Admissions, Student Success and Advancement. And it also has the entire suite of Salesforce solutions working in an integrated way; Sales, Service, Marketing, Community, Analytics, Apps, Commerce, Quip, etc.
One short blog post is not enough to explain everything that Salesforce EDA can do to digitally transform an educational institution, so if you are interested in learning more about it, the best thing to do is to contact us and one of our expert EDA consultants will explain the best way to exploit its full potential.
At S4G we have a lot of experience in projects in the education sector. We can help you!
Don’t get left behind, start transforming your educational institution today!