Remote methods have created opportunities to provide top quality learning to students and people in the workplace and to ensure businesses receive the skilled people they need. Traditional ‘class room’ based higher education is currently un-deliverable so we need a radical change to the University System in the UK.
It is my belief that updating our university system will help sustain the UK as a world leader in education in a world that has fast changing needs and requirements. Institutions such as ‘The Open University’ have pioneered remote learning and on-line courses but they fail to combine distance learning with an environment that people can collaborate in. Websites like https://www.coursera.org/ provide a platform for world class universities, many of whom are in the UK, to deliver free or reduced cost distance learning however they again fail to bring learners together.
It is beyond the scope of this to discuss the detrimental mental health impact of solely remote learning, but in a post COVID world we need to bring people together. I am proposing this is achieved by building huge libraries specifically designed to house remote learners. These could be privately sponsored by companies like those I mention and could involve utilising disused office space, as WeWork did for remote workers. A single building housing learning resources, in cities around the country would provide collaboration space and room to study so that people in the UK can learn from top Global Universities wherever they are and receive professional accreditations to position this country as a world leader in education and a global supplier of quality professionals. The current system is broken but we can fix it.