This vision for the future of HE has been created by experts at StuComm, for the learning and teaching reimagined initiative. It's not what we think the future of higher education will - or even should - look like, but just one possible scenario to inspire (possibly scare) and provoke discussion.
This content represents an imagined scenario and is set in the future
2025: a record year for student satisfaction...
2025 saw the highest student satisfaction ratings ever recorded. In the previous five years, much had been done to improve student engagement, decrease dropout rates and improve students’ mental health. Never was there a more satisfying time to be a student.
In 2025 most services in people's daily lives were exclusively developed for mobile/tablet, as desktops were only used by a minority of individuals. Likewise, university software that was not a mobile-first experience, had fallen by the wayside. Many students didn’t even own a laptop and with many universities reducing their campus facilities since the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic, most universities had stopped purchasing desktops and laptops for students to use.
In the 2010s students were very used to mobile-first experiences such as WhatsApp, Instagram and TikTok, so they were very happy when finally their universities got round to providing information through an official university app. Previous struggles of having to log into the intranet to view results or an impersonal timetable were a long distant memory!
Going mobile-first also has had a positive impact on building a community. For instance, at the recent class of 2025 graduation ceremonies, the alumni offices across the country were posting videos of student graduations within the Newsfeed on their student app. Furthermore, using the student app’s internal messaging system has blossomed many friendships, in some cases among students who have never even met in person!
Dropout rates back in the 2010s were a major issue. Students dropping out midway through a degree, cost universities a lot of money, even more so international students.
After students received their first years grades, some students who had not done as well as they had wanted, thought university was not for them and asked to withdraw. However, since personal signposting to the right support, whether it be their personal tutor or extenuating circumstances was made easier, the majority of students found a way to continue their studies.
Furthermore, even students who performed well in the 2010s sometimes dropped out, as they were bored with the lectures and instead went into full-time employment. Some modules had gone years without changes and a few comments at the end of the module was never enough to see rapid change.
From 2020 onwards lecturers who wanted it were able to use tools to get instantaneous feedback at time internals they preferred eg, weekly or monthly. This meant they could change the format during a module and keep students engaged.
Throughout the 2010s mental health was an important issue in universities. Usually, students had to track down the student services building and ask for an appointment for counsellors in person, which was very inconvenient and was a barrier for students. In 2025 however, all sessions were booked on a student app and completed through the app. Making support just as accessible as sending a WhatsApp message meant uptake in support session in 2025 compared with 2015 was up 200%
Send us your visions
This is one of a number of visions of the future of HE, created as part of our learning and teaching reimagined programme.
We’d love to hear your visions for how learning and teaching in higher education will change over the next few years.