Global Trends in Higher Education


Global trends refer to factors likely to shape the future of organizations. These trends can also be strategies being adopted by organizations to improve their competitiveness in the future. The global trends not only affect the future of organizations, but also the careers of their employees. The effect of global trends on the careers of employees can be either positive or negative. The effect will be determined by how the global trends will impact on the financial performance of the organization, organizational structure and production methods or mode of service delivery (Ravinder, 2010). This paper focuses on the global trends which are likely to influence my career as an employee in higher education sector at university level.

Internationalization of Institutions of Higher Education

In the last three decades, the market for higher education has been closed and dominated by government-sponsored institutions (Ravinder, 2010). However, the market has since been liberalized and higher education is increasingly becoming a private good. This has attracted and will continue to attract more providers of higher education to join the sector. Thus internationalization of higher education will lead to high competition, less regulation and “a flexible network of public higher education institutions” (Pannekoek, 2009). Besides, higher education practices are likely to converge as higher education products become standardized.

These trends are likely to have the following impacts on the careers of employees of institutions of higher education. First, they will have more responsibilities as the institutions seek for alternative sources of funds to support their internationalization programs (Pannekoek, 2009). Second, employees will be expected to be more accountable in order to meet the international quality standards. Third, international assignments are likely to become a common practice in institutions of higher education (Pannekoek, 2009). Thus employees will be expected to adapt to different work environments and cultures. Finally, as more institutions join the sector, strategic talent acquisition will intensify thereby increasing the bargaining power of talented higher education workers.

First, I will focus on maximizing the benefits of on-the-job training programs in order to improve my skills. This will help me to achieve the job targets and the high expectations of future employers. Second, I will take more courses especially in management and entrepreneurship. This will enable me to execute the diverse responsibilities that future workers in the higher education sector are likely to be entrusted with (Sugarthi & Umagal, 2010). By having diverse skills, my job will be more secure as institutions focus on a lean workforce in order to minimize costs. Finally, I will focus on maximizing the benefits of diversity programs in preparation for any international assignment.


Technological advancements especially in communication and information management will have a great impact on the future of institutions of higher education. Technology will lead to both product and process innovation (Sugarthi & Umagal, 2010). Improvements in the effectiveness of internet technology coupled with a reduction in the cost of using it will lead to a change in the teaching methodologies. The traditional classroom is likely to be replaced with online classes attended by students in different parts of the world at the same time. Administrative and back-office operations are likely to be outsourced or the officers in charge of such operations may work from their homes through the internet (Sugarthi & Umagal, 2010). Since technology leads to disruptive innovation, it is likely to cause job losses. Thus there will be a great focus on “distance learning, sophisticated learning-management systems and greater collaboration with research partners from around the world” (McNeely, 2009).

These trends are likely to have the following impacts on the careers of employees. The employees will be expected to have excellent skills in communication and information technology (McNeely, 2009). Possession of such skills will be a key asset in regard to the competitiveness of workers in the higher education sector. The employees will also be expected to adopt new techniques for delivering services as well as familiarizing themselves with the new higher education products brought about by technology.

First, investing in information and communication technology will be my priority in the next five years. This will not only involve acquiring better skills in information and communication technology but will also involve acquiring the latest equipment that facilitates the use of such technology. Besides, it will be my duty to practice on how to use such equipment to improve my performance at work. I will also focus on contributing in the process of eliminating the negative effects of technology in higher education such as cheating in exams or cases of plagiarism. Consequently, I will be part of the solution brought about by technology in higher education thereby increasing the chances of advancing my career through promotions (McNeely, 2009).


The future of institutions of higher education is likely to be shaped by two global trends namely, internationalization and adoption of modern information and communication technologies (Sugarthi & Umagal, 2010). As discussed above, these trends will have significant impacts on the careers of employees of the institutions of higher education. In order to deal with these trends effectively, I intend to improve my skills as well as anticipate the challenges that are likely to be associated with the trends.


McNeely, I. (2009). Current trends in knowledge production: a historical-institutional analysis. Prometheas, 27(4), 335-355.

Pannekoek, F. (2009). Global trends in higher education, adult and distance learning. International Council for Open and Distance Education, 20(1), 3-36.

Ravinder, R. (2010). Emerging trends of higher education in developing country. Economic and Business Administration, 20(1), 301-316.

Sugarthi, L., & Umagal, K. (2010). A strategic framework for managing higher educational institutions. Advances in Management, 3(10), 34-78.

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