Posted: 09 Oct. 2020 7 min. read

Designing tomorrow’s world today

The need for lifelong learning

To be served by the education system is a privilege. But what if the education system itself is pivoting around orthodoxies that are not serving the consumers of the system, in these rapidly changing times?

In the third session of Deans Summit Connected, a panel of academic and business specialists came together to address the changing dynamics of learning, and how, now more than ever, learning is becoming a lifelong essential in our toolkit of life.

With an increasing work-life span that stands at 60 years, the decreasing ‘half’ life of a skill, and new realities being shaped by rapidly evolving technology, professionals are witnessing changes in their roles at the workplace. As a result, professionals are turning to reskilling, upskilling, and learning in general, more often across various stages of their career. Always-on learning is gaining importance, as professionals are realizing how learning is now the journey to success in a career.

Given that the pandemic propelled some areas to bring about changes at a much faster pace, we see that the education sector, in particular, has seen a major shift in the way education is imparted. Educators have had to leverage the only and best option out there—technology—to continue imparting education, connecting with students and collaborating with each other. This is one change that has now become a critical element to stay connected.  

Now, consider a second aspect—for years, the approach to education in India has tended to be more conventional. A case in example is the consideration of the NEP policy, which has thrown light on the prevalent orthodoxies that have been a part of the education system for years. The new policy sets out to address some of these orthodoxies such as how learners can choose the areas of learning, among other aspects. But what about being inclusive of learners from across generations? After all, as professionals turn to learning more often across different stages of their professional career, it would imply that learners in a classroom would be spread across generations—from gen Z and millennials to baby boomers.

That brings us to the third aspect—the mindset required in educators as well as the shift required in the education system’s delivery method to ensure that they accommodate and adapt to serve the needs of learners belonging to various generations.

Thus, there is now a huge demand placed on learning in the digital age—with the need for continuous growth and skill enhancement, and the rapidly decreasing life of a learned skill (where a skill learned 10 years ago becomes obsolete in five years because the roles and jobs of today have evolved to demand newer skills).

This goes to show there are changes happening around and switching to virtual modes of learning comes with its own set of challenges. In this scenario, educational institutes could look at changing the approach to education, as they take on the role of catalysts providing ready access to continuous learning in the following ways:

  1. Increase accessibility to online resources for full-time students, as well as to allow for earning of certifications
  2. Offer online and hybrid learning models to access education given the shift to remote work, and the increase in demand for upskilling and reskilling
  3. Develop an integrative discipline-based course curriculum
  4. Reconfigure faculty-training around integrative discipline-based strategies
  5. Emphasize on fostering a learning culture to facilitate embracing a growth mindset
  6. Form partnerships with other educational institutions, online vendor partners, and industry for collective solutions

Transitioning towards a learner-centric institution—as learning becomes lifelong and demands of the modern-day learner evolve—would enable the education system to execute their role of serving the learner through these changing times.

After all, the modern-age learner wants to learn as needed, anywhere, anytime. They value quality and timely content. But most of all, they are more motivated to learn than ever before.

Lifelong learning


About Deloitte’s Deans Summit:

Deloitte’s marquee event, Deans Summit by Deloitte India (Offices of the US), shifted gears to keep up with the changing times in 2020. Where virtual connects are the norm now, they became instrumental in supporting us to see what was possible, as we continued to make an impact that matters with our cohort of deans, directors and principals from some of India’s top colleges and universities.

If you would like to share your thoughts or leave your comments around this, do write to us at