Article

Where to now? Blended futures

Higher education for a changed world

We surveyed more than 500 postgraduate students to understand what they value, and how COVID-19 has changed their perceptions of digital learning.

Our report explores the key findings in relation to domestic postgraduate needs, and the implications for higher education providers in responding to these needs.

COVID-19 has created profound challenges for the Australian higher education sector. International student revenue losses look set to total around $3b this year, and these losses will increase in 2021 as the effects of reduced commencements flow through. While there has never been more uncertainty regarding the outlook, the best current projections suggest it will be 2023 before student numbers return to pre-COVID levels. This means that Australian higher education providers must prepare for a future with less financial capacity to invest, and less financial capacity to fund research. 

Despite the challenges raised by the pandemic, there are a number of teaching and learning opportunities for higher education providers to evaluate. These range from the delivery of online degrees and diversification into new markets, to short courses and micro-credentials. One of the most promising opportunities is the domestic postgraduate market.

 

About the survey


In August 2020, Deloitte, supported by the Wallis Group, surveyed more than 500 recent and current domestic postgraduate students across Australia. These students, reflect a representative sample of our public universities and our major private providers, and include those that have studied during and prior-to the campus closures of COVID-19. The sample includes those that commence postgraduate study immediately following their undergraduate education and those that return to study after a period in the workforce; those that balance their studies with work and family responsibilities; those that study part-time and full-time; and those that study face-to-face, blended and fully online programs.

In surveying these students, we explored three aspects of the postgraduate market. Firstly, the buying behaviours of postgraduate students (specifically, how they choose a provider and mode of study). Secondly, their needs and preferences during study. Finally, the different ways the pandemic has altered this cohort’s perceptions, perspectives and preferences concerning online and digital learning. 

 

The report

Where to now? Blended futures: Higher education for a changed world explores the key findings in relation to domestic postgraduate needs, and the implications for higher education providers in responding to these needs.


Further reading

Published: October 2020

Where to now? Blended futures

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