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Future Student 2024: Big Trends To Watch

Posted on Nov 7, 2014
Future Student 2024: Big Trends To Watch

In 2004 the class of 2024 was born. And so was ‘The Facebook’ that finished the year with one million users. Smartphones and iPhones hadn’t been invented. Yahoo was the world’s most popular website. And there were just over six million broadband users in the UK. Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat didn’t exist.
So, how will our future students be studying in ten years’ time?
Well, you can’t predict the future can you? But you can anticipate it, and embrace some of the emerging trends. So, in the Summer of 2014, we partnered with The Student Room on a mission to understand just what the next ten years could look like for a new generation of students.
Rather than bury the narrative in a world of statistics and charts our intention was always to produce a simple, compelling read. Something that introduces the big trends out there, whilst providing the links to click on to delve in much further.

You can download the report for free from The Student Room – simply click here.

Here’s a taster of some of the big themes:



Whilst doing their homework together via Oovoo, playing Minecraft, applying make-up and twisting loom bands all with You Tube tutorials, we already have a new generation coming through that our flipping their own classroom. Learning online; applying together. Call them Generation Z, or the Five Screen Generation, or whatever you like – this is a new wave of connected youth, hot-wired to the digital world. Read the report to plug into Hologram TV, Wearable Tech, Smart Cities, the Internet of Things and just how this all could impact on future education.



When the Edupunk Atlas first appeared on virtual shelves, then we knew we were seeing big changes on the horizon. ‘Build Your Own’ courses are appearing in a ‘Bring Your Own’ world. We can already design an education portfolio of sorts through Google, Tedx, You Tube, hashtags and a myriad of free information out there. This can only accelerate as universities grasp the opportunities to modernise their offer. MOOCs, SPOCs and VOOCs are just part of the mix. We explore the impact.



As we hurtle towards 2024 we’ll see some university campuses getting bigger, taller, brighter and dominated by high-tech and glass. Yet, we’ll also see others minimise, some retreating into local businesses, coffee shops and shared facilities. We’ll be online and offline, often both at once. We’ll be virtual too, with augmented reality opening up rainforest campuses in front of our very eyes. New institutions like Minerva will make the world their campus, whilst others will join up to explore the North Pole. Hybrid, distance, flipped – everything will be catered for. Our report introduces some of the key trends to watch.



Stanford’s ‘Playbook’ and Brown’s STEM MOOC are just the start of a big push to immerse school learners into the potential university experience even earlier. We’ll see major changes in course structure too. We’ll see the rise of new content – after all, there are future jobs we don’t know exist yet – and institutions encouraging social responsibility driven missions, not just subjects. Old and new players will rip up rulebooks and academics will wrestle with the balance between knowledge and experience. We look at who’s doing what right now.



Want to switch on a world of augmented reality, drones and 4D printing? Well, the lights are already on and getting brighter. Our report looks a little deeper – how might Occulus Rift headsets change the way we learn? How will social media impact? How will students be wearing technology? Download the report and charge your own imaginations.



We’re already seeing the best professors getting voted onto the global broadcast stage in the Netherlands. We are getting used to the power of teaching via the TED stage too. Professor Brian Cox is proving a must-see and must-follow. His 1 million plus Twitter followers are just a fraction of the numbers that tune in to see him on TV. Are we in the era of the ‘rockstar’ professor? Will the best teachers be available to all in the future? Will we get them in 3D hologram style? Maybe as robots? We look at the trends.

Download for free the report to dig further and to explore other themes including the rise of global students and the impact of future industry. You can request it for free by clicking here.

Here’s our 4 minute trailer of just some of the big trends you’ll see:

If you want to learn how our Future Index can help you to anticipate and embrace the trends in Higher Education then please visit us at or simply email

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