Posted: 14 Aug. 2020 6 min. read

Zooming in and zooming out

Technology and systems transformation for an enhanced learner experience

The second session of Deans Summit Connected focused on challenging current perspectives on student systemsfrom moving toward a student-centric focus, to leveraging data to back decision-making.

In a changing world where education is at a peak for disruption, Deloitte brought together a panel from across the academic and business landscape, to discuss the growing importance of effective student systems in higher education institutes.

With an emphasis on the need for transformation of student systems, in an age where COVID-19 has accelerated the pace and made the reality more obvious, it became imperative to discover factors that would lead to achieving a meaningful transformation. This brought to light two key factors backing a resilient approach:

  1. Technology ‘debt’ garnered over the years
    The tech ecosystem with presence of multiple system have become increasingly complex over the years. In other words, several existing systems were prompting costly investments and more ‘patchwork’ on a constant basis, in order to make each of them ‘talk’ to each other and for them to ‘work’. This led to the result of garnering an ever-increasing technology debt, one that was eating away at the institution’s resources, which could instead be leveraged for a more robust and sustainable approach.
  2. Approach to learning taken by academic institutions
    With the emergence of ‘lifetime of learning’, a fundamental change in the traditional approach towards learning is now becoming pivotal. The future of work is here, and it is happening now. Factors such as constantly evolving job opportunities, emerging technologies, and a world that requires a different set of skills, are here to stay as they pave the way for a non-linear career and education path for today’s students. With a transformation toward a learner-centric approach, students could become better-equipped through access to a technology-enabled learning system.

After all, today’s students are the workforce of the future. And they serve as the primary audience for higher education institutes. As a cohort of individuals, students today are forward-looking, and technology-driven—both attributes which helped set the context for a better understanding of the key factors.

Here’s a brief summary of aspects related to these factors:

  1. Even though India has around millions of mobile phone users and is considered a country with one of the highest users of social sites, digital penetration continues to be uneven and the sudden shift to tech has certainly placed a burden on students who have limited access to these systems.
  2. The point around geographic boundaries no more being a limitation with technology proliferation, will be both a boon and a challenge to institutions, while they reconsider their strategies to be flexible to accommodate students’ requirements and aspirations.
  3. Data driven systems are needed to garner more insights and make decisions that are futuristic.

Students systems are at the heart of the learner experience, and a data-driven approach is needed to achieve transformation.

To form the backbone of resilient approach, higher education institutions can adjust their strategy and approach to anticipate and meet the needs—this would entail transitioning toward technology and systems transformation, as well as incorporating innovative learning models.

In these changing times, these two factors would not only help pivot the institutions’ efforts around enabling and facilitating a robust learner experience, but also enable them to thrive, as they continue to make an impact that matters.

Deans summit zooming in


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.

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