‘Design thinking’ applied to higher education… and more

Don’t let anyone think that higher education is not a big business.  In the U.K. the sector has 2.3 million customers (i.e. students) of whom 13.5% are from outside the E.U., it employs nearly 400,000 people, and has a turnover of £30.7 billion*.  That’s why it is interesting to hear people talking about how the sector might be changed by introducing ideas from other sectors.  This article, based on an interview with Prof. Kate Canales, considers the potential impact of so-called ‘design thinking’.

Prof. Canales believes that both internal and external pressures (a ‘broken’ business model, dissatisfied students, and new technologies) will require higher education to change.  She goes on to explain how design thinking is an appropriate way to resolve the challenges this presents.  Interestingly she started her career with IDEO, the industrial design company that features as Operations Insight 12.1 in our book.

*Universities UK (2015) ‘Patterns and Trends in UK Higher Education 2015

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