The Future of Higher Education in UK

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Higher Education in UK has shown growth and development over the years. Students graduating from these higher education institutions are well trained. They also exhibit high levels of professionalism. There are external and internal factors influencing growth and development of higher education in UK. For the higher education in UK to continue maintaining their international standards, the system needs to address some key issues affecting them. The future of higher education in UK is expected to take a different dimension in that the system is expected to continue growing and developing. This calls for changes in the system in order to address the issues that are coming up. The government and other funding bodies should give funds towards improving the higher education in UK. In addition, the higher education institutions should be in the front line in enhancing the quality of education offered in these institutions. They should improve the welfare of students such as students’ support system. The challenges of the international students should also be considered. This includes language of learning and assessment. In conclusion the higher education institution should market the institutions proving that it is worth investing into.

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Higher education in UK has developed over years recording tremendous achievements for over 30 years now. Over the years, it has expanded admitting 1.6 million students. The students are both young and mature people. Most of the young people who join the higher education graduate from schools and colleges. The quality of education offered by higher education institutions in UK has continually maintained its standards at international level (Brown, 2004). The graduates are well trained and many firms employ them. They exhibit high skills in problem solving and are open minded as well as creative. The key areas contributing to this are research, teaching and learning methods. The education provided has been proven to be professionally relevant. These institutions have seen more students graduating with first degree. There is low rate of drop out. More so, it has provided job opportunities for many people in the UK. These people have also contributed to the growth and development of higher education in UK.

The future of higher education in UK in this case is studied as a whole entity but it is worth noting that each country in UK play a key role in growth and development of the higher education. These countries include England, Scotland, Wales and the Northern Ireland.

Due to the increase in the number of students relying on government for funding, the government withdrew full-time undergraduate funding. This was in order to reduce the capital expenditure (Barr and Crawford, 2005).

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Growth and development of the higher education is encouraged by many people. However, there are some key areas that need to be addressed. First, the quality of education offered. With the rapid growth, the standards are being compromised. Secondly, there is no collaboration among institutions because they are competing against each other. Withdrawal of funding has its impacts in that the quality of research has declined over the years. Finally, there is no clear indication of a progression routes and qualification aims for many students.

It is also important to note that the growth and development of the higher education is not only influenced by the internal factors but also the external factors. For example, the higher education in UK is facing competition from more developed countries. These countries have developed economies that are capable of investing heavily in education and training. In turn they give rise to a people with high levels of professionalism. Other external factors include technology and politics. All these factors influence UK to invest on higher education in future (International Aspects, Eighth Report of Session, 2007)

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Technology continues to advance and this is influencing the information in terms of how it is being stored and transmitted. Students in higher education need to keep up with this pace. New technology has also encouraged distance learning. In order to compete at global market, the higher education in UK needs to embrace the new technology fully in their institutions. Competitiveness will come as a result of advancing in quality, effectiveness and relevance of the education and training (Bach and Haynes, 2007)

The role of UK higher education in enlightening the society about emerging and complex changes is expected to increase as the world is changing too. The higher education system should first adapt to the changes so that it can be able act as a guardian of culture.

The higher education in UK aims to sustain learning society in UK. In other words, it aims to promote capacities of people in UK. It also aims to enhance knowledge and skills that will be used to promote the economy. In addition the higher education in UK aims to play a key role in improving the democracy of UK.

To cater for the growing demand of higher education, the education system in UK needs to expand the institutions of higher education. This means investing which entails high costs (Brown, 2010)

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They also need to keep up with the pace of supplying graduates as they are needed by the economy. Graduates from the higher education are required to participate in the economy building. To meet this, the government has to increase the rate of participation. This includes encouraging people from social economic group III to V and those with disabilities.

Graduates of higher education are expected to play a key role in the world in future. The higher education is therefore working hard to equip their students with new experiences in order to meet these high expectations. To achieve this, the system calls upon the students to cooperate so that they can work as one body.

Curricula are another area that needs to be addressed. As times change many things also change and the kind of experience required also need to change. The higher education will need to remodel their curriculum in order to continue being successful.

Higher education in UK is characterized by student population that is large and diverse. Most of the students study as part time students and others are a distance away from the institutions. Technology advancement allows such students to learn in flexible manner. In order to be more effective, the institutions need to advance more in the technological field.

Awareness is highly needed in future in order to avoid the situation in which the students admitted in the universities do not know what to expect and what is expected of them. In some cases the students are seen not to know that university education is demanding with a lot of workload that requires independent learning.

New teaching and learning strategies need to be employed. This means effective use of ICT to improve learning. With ICT, the students can access important information and other resources needed for learning. However, this is not to be used in place of personal contact teaching but will be used as a complement.

More support staffs as well as support facilities are needed to improve student support services. This is aimed at paying attention to students. The support services including answering questions and responding to problems as they come up need to be of quality.

Infrastructure in the higher education in UK needs to be upgraded in future so as to enhance learning environment. Among these infrastructures are libraries, buildings and residing halls. Upgrading them may mean improving those that exist or building new ones. This will also improve the reputation of UK higher education. In turn it will have preserved international market share.

The higher education in UK continues to gain demand at international market. There is need to incorporate international views while making changes on curriculum (Balasubramanyam and Fallow, 2009)


Due to high demand of the higher education, the government in UK should increase the cap on full time undergraduate places. The government and funding bodies should consider funding those institutions that will increase the participation. For example they should fund disabled and people from group III and V. They should also come up with funding models that will ensure the higher education in UK achieve their goals.

Through the students support program, the higher education should be able to understand their prospective students and what they expect. This will enable them to come up with strategies of helping students to adapt to the higher education system.

Students need to be informed of what they should or should not expect when they join higher education institutions. The higher education system should also keep up with the pace of students’ population that is increasing by day.

They should emphasize on research that meet the international standards. In addition, they should encourage exchange study program. This entails sending their students to study in other countries as well as accommodating students from overseas to study in UK.

To continue meeting the expectations of the international students, the higher education in UK need to address the issue of language. Many international students are not native speakers of English and they find it difficult since English is used as the language of learning and assessment. The higher education should introduce English classes alongside the degree courses.

The government and other funding bodies should support curriculum reforms. For example they can support by giving incentives to help in reforming the undergraduate curricula. Higher education should encourage different modes of studying. This includes part time as well as full time. This is in order to attract those people who are already working to be part-time students.


The higher education in UK has recorded achievements over the years. However the growth and developments come along with challenges. Higher education thus needs to prove that it is a sector worth investing into. In addition, the higher education in UK needs to be able to manage its own growth and development.


Bach, S. & Haynes, P. (2007) Online Learning and Teaching in Higher Education. New York: McGraw-Hill International.

Balasubramanyam, C. & Fallow, J. (2009). Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching in Higher Education: Theory and Practice. Oxford: Routledge.

Barr, A. & Crawford, I. (2005). Financing Higher Education: Answers From the UK. New York: Routledge.

Brown, R. (2004). Quality Assurance in Higher Education: The UK Experience since 1992. Canada: Routledge.

Brown, R. (2010). Higher Education and the Market. New York: Taylor & Francis.

International Aspects, Eighth Report of Session. (2007). The Future Sustainability Of The Higher Education Sector. London: The Stationery Office.

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ChalkyPapers. "The Future of Higher Education in UK." January 31, 2022.