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Dr Kevin Bell | Head of Higher Education and Research - ANZO, AWS 

In this video (part 1 of 2), Dr Kevin Bell explores how higher education is facing increased competition from industry disruptors, with pressure on Australian and global universities to invest in more flexible learning modalities to meet evolving workforce needs. 

According to Kevin, the recent global pandemic has put a spotlight on tertiary degree shortcomings and the disconnect between the level of job preparedness of graduating students as perceived by academics, vs CEOs. The latter are less convinced about the availability of job-ready students, and he cites universities’ limited collaboration with industries to enable learning in real-world environments, as a missed opportunity.

Kevin deep-dives into the concept of ‘competency-based education’ and ‘micro-credentialing’ as evidenced in MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) and Google’s recent unveiling of their own learning academy to substitute a 3-4 year degree. He raises the fundamental question of whether such learning approaches can make students competent to perform their future jobs more effectively and in a shorter amount of time. 

If we are to interpret micro-credentialing as taking the core elements of traditional degrees and packaging it more efficiently, will such learning delivery miss out on peripheral benefits, including soft skills? He notes the distinct value of face-to-face teaching compared to a wholly online experience, and suggests the need for educational training that engenders a balance of technical and social skills for well-rounded professionals. 

(Kevin was the Founder of Digital Education Analytics and an Education Consultant at KPMG when the interview was conducted)

Watch part 2 →

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.