Education in Australia: these major trends will reshape how we learn

The digital age has brought about countless changes throughout numerous industries.

These changes have also deeply affected most if not all aspects of our lives, especially when it comes to education and career.

Though the primary education system is drastically changing in how they approach teaching Australian children, it’s the higher education system experiencing the most disruption.

These trends are poised to change the very foundation of the Australian educational system long into the foreseeable future.

One in five Australian students believe physical colleges won’t exist in 20 years

Focused girl concerned about difficult online assignment looking at laptop screen studying working in cafe, millennial student thinking of problem solution reading hard task on computer making notes
Photo: Fizkes. BS

In an article published by Studiosity, a 2018 study discovered that one out of five Australian students believe physical college campuses won’t exist in 20 years.

A response expected from tech-savvy millennials, a generation that has been behind many disruptions throughout numerous industries.

However, the article further states that even respondents between the ages of 34 to 41 years-of-age are mostly the group that feels this way.

Even more interesting, international students and women were less likely to question whether or not physical campuses would exist 20 years from now.

But statistics show that there is a rise in online course registration globally. And more people are beginning to see the benefits of pursuing a degree online.

Some of the most popular courses include online nursing masters like this one, or Machine Learning, Science of Well-Being, Algorithms Part One, English For Career Development, Financial Markets, among a few others.

Educators focus on students’ mental health and mindfulness

Calm woman relaxing meditating with laptop, no stress free relief at work concept, mindful peaceful young businesswoman or student practicing breathing yoga exercises at workplace, office meditation
Photo: Fizkes, BS

Mental health and mindfulness have already been on the rise for some time now.

However, such programs are becoming more of a standard fixture in many Australian classrooms.

Such organisations as The Resilience Project, Trinity Kids, and Smiling Mind equip educators with applications, meditation, music, talks, and activities that assist children in dealing with the mentally harsh environment of school.

In 2018, Monash University and Smiling Mind conducted a study on how to improve students’ emotion regulation.

Mindfulness was subsequently created by the group in order to focus attention on the experiences a person has during a current moment.

Smiling Mind chief executive Dr Addie Wooten said to The Sydney Morning Herald, “Its [popularity] is increasing hugely, we’ve grown about 35 per cent over last year.”

Wooten continued to say that her company plans on reaching over 100,000 more Australian educators in 2019 and their “on track to do that.”

“Once teachers try it once or twice it’s quite amazing how quickly kids respond to it,” she added.

The Internationalisation of Australian universities

education, international and people concept - group of happy exchange students with notebook and takeaway drinks talking outdoors
Photo: Dolgachov, BS

Studies show that a quarter of university students in Australia are from abroad.

That means 25 per cent of those living and learning in Australia deliberately chose Australia as a place to get an education.

This news is surprising when you consider that these foreign students pay double or more in fees, not to mention getting a student visa and living costs.

However, this also forces Australian universities to deliver an exceptional learning experience.

One of the issues faced by both students and lecturers is that most international students struggle with the English language.

Lectures have inadequate time to assist students with their language skills while they’re trying to keep pace with their workload, such as assessing course content.

The thing is, Australian universities increasingly rely on international enrolments in order to support their growing budgets.

This causes them to search for strategies to guarantee their high-valued students not only enjoy their stay but succeed as well.

The digitisation of the education system

Everyone is aware of how much technology is influencing most if not every aspect of our lives. Educations is one of those aspects.

Today, students from all levels are accustomed to most everything being online by now.

This generation is considered to be the Spotify and Netflix generation, and they expect their schools to be up to date when it comes to technology.

Thus, schools and universities are discovering various ways to replicate these technological experiences in the students’ academic lives, not only those done entirely online.

Though Millennials were the ones who introduced technology to the classroom, it’s Generation Z who is causing schools to increase their bandwidth.

Generation Z is by far the most connected group of students in history.

In 2019, we’ll begin to see this in more earnest as schools decide to start adopting more tech-based teaching and learning tools.

Whether you’re an educator or a student, it’s important to pay attention to these trends and others so that you’re prepared.

One of the mistakes many people make is not being sufficiently prepared for the changes that are taking place.

Mike Smith
Mike Smith
Executive Editor at Best in Australia. Mike has spent over a decade covering news related to business leaders and entrepreneurs around Australia and across the world. You can contact Mike here.
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