SomeBig Patterns WhichWill
Impact Us All…
Stephen Murgatroyd, PhD FBPsS FRSA
A Brief History of the Future – The Big Picture
Developments in Higher Education
Five Big Questions
“The future isn’t what it used to be..” Yogi
“Predictions are very difficult, especially
if they are about the future”. Niels Bohr
“The future will be better tomorrow..”
Canada’s birthrate is below replacement
Ageing population – more seniors than children in
school / Increased lifespan.
Dependency ratio shifting from 4:1 to 2:1 by 2036
Indigenous youth growing at a faster rate than the rest
Immigration needs to double for the economy to
continue to grow.
Fertility rates in Saskatchewan are amongst the
highest in Canada.
1.17 million people in the Province in 2018 and the
Premier says he’d like to get to 1.5million by 2030
Indigenous Peoples and Skilled immigrants key to
growth – currently 10.5% (with a significant number of
second generation immigrants)
Declining rural population – growing urbanization
Ageing population – over 100 over 100 in
Global population to reach 9.5 billion by 2050 (or
sooner) – major implications for the environment
New middle class – 2.2 billion new middle class –
mainly in India, Asia and parts of Africa
Economic power shifting from US / Northern Europe to
Asia – already 50% of the world’s $1 billion companies
are located in Asia.
Worlds major cities – there are 424 major cities
generating +50% of world GDP – 325 are in Asia
More frequent severe weather events
Climate change dynamics
Water supplies for 9.5 billion people fragile
Degradation of oceans
Consumption – the 3 planets problem
Ensuring that 9.5 billion people can be fed
3D Printing enabling adaptive manufacturing
Stem-Cell Therapies and Gene Splicing
Human Implants – Cognitive Implants
Neuroplasticity and Cognitive Science
Aggregators – amazon.ca / eBay / Etsy
“Ubers” – Uber, 99Designs
“Pop-Up’s” - Pop up Restaurants, Performance Spaces,
Uber more dominant future model than the
Gig economy now 40% of the Canadian, Australian and
New Zealand economies
75% of all jobs advertised in Australia since 2015 have
Universities and colleges run on their gig workers
Supply chains are global – look at the BMW Mini. 300
options for exterior trim - 15,000,000,000,000,000
Parts delivered to Oxford Just in Time 0 – enough for 1
3,600 parts in a standard Mini (up to 4,875 in a Mini
Cooper S) – from 47 countries.
Coffee from 24 countries available
Penn State MBA
Professors online from 18 countries
US, UK, Netherlands, Japan, Australia, and Canada)
and two emerging markets (China and India) have a
$400 trillion retirement savings shortfall that will
become growingly evident and at crisis point in 2050.
Total government debt from all governments is
currently (June 2018) US$23.9 trillion.
In the US, to deliver current levels of public services
(everything from education to health care to pensions)
to the projected population in 2030, taxpayers will need
to find an additional US$940 billion. In the UK, they’ll
need to find another US$170 billion, and in Canada
they’ll need to find another US$90 billion.
Canada is experiencing growing inequality – our top 100
CEO’s earn the average Canadian wage ($49,510) by 11:47
a.m. on January 3—the first working day of the year.
Fewer than 90 families in Canada hold roughly as much
wealth as everyone living in Newfoundland and Labrador,
New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island collectively
1 in 7 Canadian residents live in poverty and 1.3 million
children live in poverty.
UNICEF rated Canada 17thout of 29 wealthy
countries due to the number of children living in poverty
in Canada and 26th out of 35 wealthy countries for overall
iGen experiencing significant identity issues showing
in mental health challenges and issues around
meaning and purpose – suicide levels are up and
mental health issues are significant:
An estimated 1.5 million Canadian children and youth
(aged 5-24) are affected by mental health issues
Approximately 6% of young people experience and
anxiety disorder serious enough to warrant treatment
Suicide is the second leading cause of death for
Canadians between the ages of 10 and 24
Seniors – who are now living longer – are questioning
the meaning of their life while experiencing loneliness
1. Blended learning is now the norm in F2F teaching
2. Online learning is growing 2-3 times faster than F2F
in the developed world
3. MOOC’s are a big deal
81 million people took one/more of 9,400 courses from
850+ colleges and universities in 2017
Growing offer of degrees through MOOCs
Rapid growth of micro-credentials offered via MOOC
4. Micro-Credentials – modular, stackable learning –
key to emerging current landscape, especially for
skills and trades
5. Growth of assessment only qualifications / degrees
6. Rapid growth of online program management
companies (OPM’s) like 2U, Pearson, Coursera –
enabling F2F institutions and others to have high
quality, online courses and programs rapidly produced
7. Growth of OER based offers – e.g. OUUK – and IBM
Watson’s use of OER as the basis of their free offer to
school teachers (Teacher Advisor)
8. Predictive analytics increasingly used for recruitment,
9. Learner mobility as a policy driver – EU and Australia
strongly focused on transferability, trans-national
qualifications, portability of qualifications.
10. Growth of collaborative programs – partnership based
certificates, diplomas and degrees (with other
educational institutions or private sector)
1. Assessment as the “new black” – using automated
item generation, automated marking systems and
”on demand” assessment to create new ways of
recognizing learning – competence, understanding
and capability based.
2. Growing use of automated content generation
systems – “smart” writing – and AI technologies
3. Significant growth of responsive/ adaptive /
automated student advising and support systems.
4. Rich accountability for learning organizations –
legally defensible assessment of capabilities will be
the “acid” test.
5. Shift from current transcript / student record
systems to blockchain based systems.
6. Explosion of modular, stackable, competency-based
learning – learners creating their own programs
reflecting their learning needs.
7. Emerging systems of global transferability – an
engineer is an engineer.
8. Growth of uber-like learning organizations – e.g.
Woolf University (AI and Blockchain enabled)
9. Public: Private Partnerships will spur the growth of
work-based accreditation of learning.
10. New forms of accountability for performance of
schools, colleges, polytechnics and universities from
Government and Industry – the skills agenda
How fast can you as a Polytechnic adapt to fast
changing circumstances? How agile are you?
How will you deal with rapid changes in the nature of
skills and competencies – technology and population
changes will drive it. What looks like a defined trade
now may not look the same five years from now – e.g.
How good are you at enabling First Nations learners to
be outstanding? Similarly, how equipped are you to
deal with a significant growth in demand from 1st
generation immigrants for competency recognition and
Who do you want to partner with in the world?
How can you strengthen the core notion of being a